Red-eared terrapin

About This Project

An invasive species in our region…

This turtle is easily recognised by the red stripes on the sides of its head. Though young terrapins are mainly carnivorous, adults eat a larger proportion of plants.

A popular pet, millions of red-eared terrapins were imported into France. Unfortunately many were abandoned in the wild by their owners (they can live for thirty years!) and since they have no natural predators in France, they have spread widely and are now threatening the European pond turtle, a local species.

At La BArben, you can observe them in summer in the aviary of macaws. Indeed, from October to April, they hibernate, buried in the ground!

Latin name: Trachemys scripta elegans
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Size: 20 cm (males) 28 cm (females)
Weight: 2-3 kg
Lifespan: 30 years (on average)
Incubation: 60 to 80 days
Number of eggs: 2 to 20 (15 on average)
Habitat: fresh water, marshes, swamps
Diet: adults are omnivorous (80-90% herbivorous, 10-20% carnivorous (fish, crustaceans, insects)
Distribution: North America: Mississippi Valley, from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico and as far as Kansas and Oklahoma
Conservation status: not at risk