Pond Slider

Trachemys scripta

Description

Pond Sliders are highly abundant turtles found throughout the state of Mississippi, as well as a large portion of the United States. While native to the eastern US, the Red-eared Slider is one of the most invasive reptiles in the world. Heads are marked with yellow lines behind the eyes and a distinct red “ear” on the sides of the head. Older turtles may lose most of the coloration on the shell and skin.

Red-eared Slider crossing a gravel road in between wetlands, northern Louisiana

Identifying Traits

  • Red or orange “ear” behind eyes
  • Wide, sparse yellow markings on chin and side of head

Subspecies Present:

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Habitat

Nearly any body of water, urban or natural. Common in urban and man-made ponds

Range

Behavior

Often found basking in ponds in urban and more natural areas, can be highly locally abundant

Diet

Various invertebrates, aquatic vegetation

A slew of basking adults, Jackson Co. (MS)
Subadult Trachemys scripta elegans with remnants of juvenile green coloration, St. Charles Co. (MO)
In-hand picture of an adult female red-eared slider, Jackson Co. (MS)
Juvenile slider on a road at dusk, Warren Co. (MS)