Pond slider

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Pond slider
Trachemys scripta elegans, the red-eared slider
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Trachemys
Species: T. scripta
Binomial name
Trachemys scripta
(Thunberg, 1792),[2] (Schoepff, 1792)[3]
Tracheymys scripta range.png
Subspecies range map in the United States.
Red: red-eared slider (also in Mexico)
Yellow: yellow-bellied slider
Green: Cumberland slider

The pond slider (Trachemys scripta) is a species of common, medium-sized, semiaquatic turtle. Siders have three subspecies.[2] The most recognizable is the red-eared slider (T. s. elegans), which is popular in the pet trade and has been introduced to other parts of the world by people releasing it to the wild. Hatchling and juvenile pond sliders have a green upper shell (carapace), yellow bottom shell (plastron) and green and yellow stripes and markings on their skin. These patterns and colors in the skin and shell fade with age until the carapace is a muted olive green to orange brown or brown and the plastron is a dull yellow or darker. Some sliders become almost black with few visible markings. The carapace is oval with a bit of rounding and a central crest with knobs, but these features soften and fade with age, adults being smoother and flatter. For determining an adult slider's sex, males typically have much longer front claws than adult females, while females usually have shorter, more slender tails than males.

History behind the name[edit]

The origin of the name slider stems from the behavior of these turtles when startled. Groups of sliders, sometimes quite large – as well as many other types of less abundant freshwater turtles – are often seen basking and sunning on logs, branches and vegetation at or even well above the water's surface, but they readily and quickly scramble if they sense danger, shooting back in and darting away to safety underwater.


Pond sliders are native to the South Central and East United States and northern Mexico.




  1. ^ Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (1996). "Trachemys scripta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Rhodin 2010, p. 000.103
  3. ^ Fritz 2007, pp. 207-208
  4. ^ Trachemys scripta elegans X Trachemys scripta scripta Project Noah

External links[edit]