home Article At what age do red-eared turtles lay their eggs?

At what age do red-eared turtles lay their eggs?

What to do if a red-eared turtle lays an egg

Male reptiles cannot carry and lay eggs, but a female red-eared turtle can lay an egg without a male. This physiological feature is also inherent in some birds.

Unfertilized or fatty eggs of red-eared turtles should not be transferred to an incubator, they do not contain embryos of future turtles. If a newly acquired female laid eggs, then they can be fertilized.

If a red-eared turtle has laid eggs, it is necessary to carry out a number of measures to safely obtain turtle offspring.

Pregnancy and laying of eggs in red-eared turtles

red-eared, turtles, their, eggs

Simultaneous heterosexual individuals of red-eared turtles at home, provided optimal conditions are created, can result in pregnancy and childbirth of a female.

A small decorative turtle gives birth to several eggs and this stops her care for the offspring. Lovers of reptiles create ideal conditions for mating animals, take care of the expectant mother and her eggs, from which charming tiny babies of bright green color subsequently appear. To successfully obtain offspring, you need to know how long pregnancy lasts, how red-eared turtles give birth, and what to do if the reptile has laid eggs.

At what age can pregnancy occur

In natural habitat, sexual maturity of red-eared turtles occurs by 6-8 years. At home, the process of puberty is faster, males become sexually mature as early as 3-4 years, and females at 5-6 years. The ideal age for breeding aquatic reptiles at home is 5 years, before attempts to get offspring will be unsuccessful.

It is quite problematic to accurately determine the age of exotic animals, therefore, it is recommended to select individuals for mating according to the length of the shell. Sexually mature males have a shell of at least 11 cm, females by this age already reach 15-17 cm.Until puberty, it is almost impossible to distinguish the sex of animals, all reptiles look like females.

Secondary sexual characteristics in red-eared turtles can be determined by comparing several individuals. Males are distinguished by a smaller, elongated shell, an elongated tail and the presence of sharp long claws on the forelimbs. In addition, the characteristic sex of males is a triangular notch at the end of the abdomen. Males sometimes release their penis, which looks like a rose flower, while bathing. After determining the age and sex, it is possible to form heterosexual groups of females and males with a ratio of 2: 1 and wait for the mating games to begin.

It is almost impossible to find out that a red-eared turtle is pregnant, but you can suspect a successful conception in a female if you can notice mating games and the process of intercourse of reptiles. Mating of red-eared turtles takes place in the water and lasts from 5 to 15 minutes; during intercourse, the male hugs the female tightly from behind. Sperm can remain active in the genital tract of a female for up to 2 years. One sexual intercourse for a female is enough for 4-5 ovipositions.

You can also understand that the red-eared turtle is pregnant by the characteristic behavior of the expectant mother. When a reptile carries eggs in itself, it has a change in appetite: from its increase to complete refusal of food closer to the date of birth. Immediately before laying eggs, the water turtle becomes restless, starts digging the ground, circling on land in search of a good place for its nest.

The most accurate confirmation of a reptile’s pregnancy is an X-ray examination, with which you can reliably verify the presence of eggs in the female genitals.

Pregnancy of a red-eared turtle lasts an average of 60 days and ends with the laying of eggs. It is recommended that the expectant mother be removed from the male after mating in order to avoid harming the health of the female and her future cubs. During pregnancy, turtles need to be fed a variety of foods, the main part of the diet should be animal feed, rich in calcium.

Incubate eggs

The maturation of embryos lasts from 2 to 5 months. When incubated at 26-28C, males are formed in the eggs, at an average temperature of 30-32C, females hatch. Average temperature indicators do not have a fundamental significance on the formation of the floor. Before laying the eggs, it is advisable to enlighten them on an ovoscope for the presence of embryos in them. Fertilized eggs look lighter in comparison with fatty ones; when they are translucent, a dark spot of the embryo is revealed. If on the first day it was not possible to identify the embryo of a turtle, it is recommended that an examination be carried out carefully after a week. Instead of an ovoscope, you can use a flashlight or an ordinary lamp. During the incubation of future turtles, it is necessary to observe the temperature and humidity in the incubator. If within 2-3 months the reptiles do not hatch, it is necessary to enlighten the eggs again. The embryos could die due to violation of the conditions of maturation.

Transfer the eggs carefully to the incubator

If the turtle has laid eggs in the aquarium, then they must be pulled out of the water within an hour, otherwise the embryos will suffocate without air access. Eggs must be removed from a nest built in the sand or from the water without changing their original position. To do this, you can carefully mark with a pencil on the top of the egg. Turning the embryo can cause its instant death.

Purchase or build an incubator

The incubation temperature of turtle eggs is 26-32C, below and above these boundaries, reptile embryos die. A homemade incubator can be built from a glass jar of sand, installing a heat source and a thermometer in it.

Mating cases

In order for the reproduction of the red-eared turtle at home to be possible, it is necessary to take into account the age of the individuals. Reptiles should reach puberty, but are not in old age. In turtles, in involuntary conditions, the opportunity to continue the race appears at the same time when in the natural environment.

In male turtles, this ability appears after four years of life, but females can give birth only after five years. If you own several individuals, it is best if there is only one male representative among them. Several males in one dwelling can cause aggression, which in turn will lead to injuries in pets.

Features of the reproduction process in red-eared turtles

Turtles, like many other animals, have learned well how to survive not only in freedom, but also in captivity, where, as a rule, all the necessary conditions for a comfortable existence are created for them. Reproduction in these reptiles is carried out by laying eggs. In this case, the female can mate for a whole year.

It is noteworthy that the participation of the male in the laying of eggs is not obligatory. But there will be no offspring, since in this case there will be no fertilization. That is, the female can lay eggs on her own, but this will not give any expected result.

The age of the reptile is of great importance. Sexually mature individuals, but not old ones, are the best option for home breeding. The traditional slowness of turtles is manifested in everything, including the fact that they mature for a very long time. Therefore, it will take some time until the turtle can lay fertilized eggs.

Turtles, like many other animals, have learned well how to survive not only in freedom, but also in captivity.

Of course, there is always the risk of getting two specials of the same sex. It is clear that in this case there can be no question of any reproduction. It should be noted that it will be possible to find out the sex of a red-eared turtle only after it is at least a year old. There is no need to try to examine the genitals of a reptile. it makes no sense. You can determine the sex of an animal by a number of external signs:

  • females tend to be larger than males;
  • in females, the shape of the shell in the lower part is flat, while in males there is a characteristic arch;
  • boys’ claws are longer than those of females;
  • the same applies to the tail. it is longer in males.

Breeding process of red-eared turtles

Identification of male and female

Before creating breeding conditions for red-eared turtles, it is necessary to understand their sex. In order for turtles to be born, the presence of both a male and a female is necessary. The female can lay eggs even in the absence of the male, however, their fertilization will not occur, and the babies will not be born.

Determining the sex of a reptile will become possible only after a year from the moment of its birth. Since before this period, the signs by which one can determine the sex are practically invisible. For comparison, it is necessary to take individuals that are of the same age. In most cases, male turtles are smaller than their female counterparts. The tail and claws of a reptile are also an identifying feature, since these body parts are longer in males. When determining the sex, you can also pay attention to the part of the shell, which is located on the side of the abdomen, in girl turtles it is completely flat, but males have a concave plastron.

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On the loose

Like any other animal, not just reptiles, red-eared turtles do their best to be free. Simply because this is their natural habitat. Accordingly, there is nothing strange in the fact that normal reproduction is relevant only for natural living conditions.

Red-eared turtles are best at freedom

On the loose, turtles feel comfortable. This is not about the fact that they are safe or that they constantly have food and water, which is important for home living, no. The point is different. the instincts of the animal work here, which, in fact, determine their behavior and attitude to the environment.

At what age do turtles begin to breed

Red-eared turtles are quite funny reptiles that can perfectly cope with the role of pets. Many owners want to breed them at home, but this is not always the case. In many ways, the reason lies in the fact that such people do not have the necessary knowledge.

Preparatory process before mating turtles

First of all, the owner needs to create conditions for the reproduction of red-eared turtles. With the necessary effort, even an inexperienced breeder can count on a positive outcome. It should be borne in mind that food can also play an important role in the cooking process. Before expected intercourse, feed only nutritious food supplemented with vitamins.

An aquarium for breeding red-eared turtles must be prepared in advance, and individuals who are ready to start working on offspring should be planted there. It is necessary to transplant only one individual so that there are no fights and aggressive behavior in the dwelling.

First you need to change the water, and raise the temperature level, the optimal water temperature is 25 degrees. The presence of warm water has a positive effect on the appearance of small turtles. It is necessary to know that the male during copulation will not let the female out of the water. Therefore, the aquarium should be filled only 10 cm so that your pet does not drown. You should also equip your aquarium with a container to hold the sand. It is there that the female will lay eggs, so it should be very conveniently placed so that the reptile does not have any difficulties. Turtles will only breed if soil is present.

Females who are ready for the breeding process become very active and may not eat at all.

Necessary nuances

In males, sexual maturity occurs earlier about the fifth year of life, while in females it is about the sixth year. Many people either do not know this difference or forget about it. Naturally, in this case, nothing happens.

If there are several turtles, then it is better when there is one male for several females. This will help to avoid conflicts between “boys” and possible trauma. It is possible to understand what sex reptile is not earlier than one year old. Males are smaller in size, but they have larger claws and a tail. The lower part of the shell also helps to understand the gender. in boys it has a very noticeable “dent”.

For mating, it is recommended to place the female and male in a separate aquarium. You need to fill it with clean, settled water. Temperature is extremely important. it should be warmer than the water in the “main” aquaterrarium. The fact is that a change in water and an increase in its temperature are an important additional stimulus for mating for red-eared turtles.

For the turtles to mate, water is required, but the male can get carried away and prevent the female from surfacing. Therefore, the depth in this “special” aquarium should be small, about 10-12 centimeters.

Before mating, interesting “mating games” take place: the male swims near the female, periodically tickling his face with his claws and hitting her shell with the front edge of his shell. On YOUTUBE you can find a video of how exactly the “flirting” of red-eared turtles occurs.

Final Video: A red-eared slider has great difficulty laying 12 eggs. oxytocin & calcium

The duration of intercourse is on average 7-15 minutes. If, after “relocation” to a separate aquarium, the reptiles do not pay attention to each other, then they need to be resettled for a couple of days.

It is better to separate a pregnant female from the male, as he can unwittingly injure her.

The first way

Despite the fact that there is a possibility of error in determining the age of the reptile by the length of the shell, you still need to know about this method.

To begin with, you should find out what sex the pet belongs to, which is also not so easy to determine, especially at a young age, and then you can start measuring and compare your results with the baseline. It will look like this:

  • The first year of life of pets is characterized by the same size of the shell, which is 6 cm.
  • The female in the second year of life has a shell 9cm long, and the male 8cm.
  • In the third year of life, the female’s shell is about 14 cm long, and the male’s shell is up to 10 cm.
  • By the fourth year of life, the shell of the female grows to 16 cm, and the shell of the male. 12 cm.
  • By the age of five, the female has a shell 18cm long, and the male 14cm.
  • At six years of age, the female boasts a shell length of about 20 cm, and the male. 17 cm.

We can safely say that by the sixth year of life, the turtle has a shell, which will have the same dimensions as it grows further.

The size can increase, but not significantly, and then the shell of the turtles will stop growing at all.

The following factors have a great influence on the size of the shell:

  • Diet variety.
  • Dimensions of the Aqua Terrarium.
  • Conditions of detention.
  • Does the turtle hibernate.

Therefore, this method has a serious error and is of little use for pets. In this case, you can use another method, which will strengthen your assumptions based on the first method. Although it is more complex, it is more reliable. The basis of this method is determining the age of turtles from the pattern on the shell.

How to reliably determine the age of a red-eared turtle

For non-specialists, there are several ways to determine the age of their pets: by the length of the shell and the nature of the pattern on it, by its shape and color.

How to determine the age of a red-eared turtle

Many began to have a variety of pets, quite rare and interesting, whose homeland is the distant tropics. these are boas, snakes, crocodiles, pythons, and turtles. In most cases, preference is given to a harmless turtle, which leads a calm and measured lifestyle, especially since its costs are minimal. Very often, based on such considerations, they give birth to a red turtle, which leads mainly an aquatic lifestyle.

To keep such a turtle, you will need an aquarium with a small part of the land, or as it is called the Aqua Terrarium. The advantage of this content is that these elements can complement the overall design of a room or apartment.

Turtles can be classified as centenarians among many animals, the red-eared turtle can live up to 50 years. As for home content, everything will depend on how close the home will be to natural ones. If you take proper care of her and keep her clean, then she can live 30 years or more, especially since she does not require any exceptional care, but you should know some of the subtleties. Firstly, you need to know how old the acquired turtle is and only then determine the conditions of keeping and rational nutrition.

Second way

The shell of a turtle is like a human fingerprint: it is unique, if, of course, the turtle is in good conditions, it has a varied diet and has enough room for an active lifestyle.

There are concentric rings on her carapace, indicating her age. Rings begin to appear after she reaches 1 year of life, and then actively appear, in the first 2-3 years. For every six months of life, 2-3 rings are added, after which this process begins to slow down and, each year lived by the turtle, it is evidenced by one ring. By counting the number of such rings, you can easily determine the age of your pet. To be more precise, the age of the acquired pet, since each owner can subsequently accurately determine the age of the turtle, adding to the age of purchase, the years that the turtle lived directly with the owner.

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To make more accurate calculations, you should count the number of rings and display the average result. As you can see from the description of the second method, it also gives some error, so you can make a mistake if you do not know the exact date of birth.

The connection of age with red spots

Behind the eyes, the red-eared turtle has spots that are not associated with the organs of hearing. Throughout life, these spots change color from scarlet to burgundy.

A young turtle has a green, streaked shell that dulls and darkens as it grows and matures.

You can focus on the age of the turtle, knowing the size of its carapace. But again, at home, especially a favorable turtle can grow a little faster than in nature. over, there are many subspecies of turtles, which have a different ratio of the length of the shell in relation to age.

Third way

The third method is based on the fact that in the process of growth, the intensity of the color of the tortoise shell changes. The younger the turtle, the lighter and softer its color. When the turtle reaches four years of age, the shell of the turtle begins to darken. Before this period, the age rings have the same color, and with the darkening of the shell, the rings also darken. In an older turtle, it has an almost black color, the rings have the same color.

As it grows, the shell of turtles begins to acquire the correct oval shape, becoming very smooth, which cannot be said about the shell of a young turtle.

The fact that the turtle is not a few years old can be evidenced by its lifestyle. At a young age, the turtle is more mobile and curious, which indicates the presence of a large supply of energy. The closer to old age, the less and less energy becomes, the turtle begins to lead a sedentary lifestyle: it moves less and rests more. These signs are not limited to turtles.

it can be added that it is not so important to know the age of the turtle, if it is bought very small. The main thing is that the turtle feels comfortable, that the conditions of its keeping are close to natural ones, and the diet contains foods rich in all the necessary nutrients. Plus to everything. this is attention and care, constant monitoring of cleanliness, which boils down to regular replacement of water, otherwise it is unlikely that the turtle will live long, and it is unlikely that it will be possible to determine its age by its shell.

How to determine gender

In order for the reproduction of red-eared turtles at home to be successful, each owner must know how to calculate the sex of the pet. To do this, compare the appearance of reptiles, identifying differences that indicate gender.

  • Females are slightly larger than males, and have a rounded head. Males have an elongated head.
  • Males have a depression on the abdomen; girls do not have such a depression. The shell of the male representatives is elongated, the female is rounded.
  • Female turtles have short claws, males long and sharp.
  • In males, the tail is wider and thicker, and the cloaca is located at a distance from the shell. In girls, the cloaca is in the shape of an asterisk, and is placed close to the shell.


Adult reptiles are fed 2-3 times a week, young pets are fed daily. Red-eared turtle nutrition should consist of the following foods:

  • Live low-fat fish: blue whiting, gobies, etc.
  • Raw meat.
  • Various types of insects: crustaceans, bloodworms, daphnia, etc.
  • Squids, shrimps, snails, frogs.
  • Vegetation: lettuce, cabbage, dandelion and other plants.
  • Vegetables: carrots, apples, cucumbers.

It is strictly forbidden to feed pets cheeses, lamb, flour and loaf of baked goods, pork, fruits and other fatty and human products. For the prevention of diseases, turtles are given calcium supplements, and vitamins.

Do you need neighbors

The behavior of red-eared turtles in relation to other underwater inhabitants and relatives cannot be called friendly. Reptiles tend to come into conflict with each other, especially pugnaciousness manifests itself in adulthood. Given this temperament, it is recommended to keep the turtles separately from relatives, or provide the pets with a spacious terrarium with partitions.

Tips for keeping two or more reptiles in the same container:

  • Pets must be the same size and age.
  • No two males can be kept in the terrarium.
  • Each individual should have a personal space and a resting corner.

It is important to note that it is not recommended to keep frogs, lizards and snakes together with turtles, as these creatures are perceived by reptiles as food.


Owners of a red-eared turtle, no matter how cute the reptile may seem, should know not to let their pets go to the floor. Turtles tend to get scared in a new place, so they can bite and hurt their owner. After contact with reptiles, wash your hands, as pathogenic bacteria accumulate on the shell of animals.

In the summer, the red-eared turtle is taken for a walk, where the pet receives natural ultraviolet rays and relishes on fresh grass. A place for walking is chosen far from the roadways, with a smooth, clean lawn. Walking time. 30 minutes, the temperature outside in the shade should be 20C, otherwise the pet will be weakened. You should take a bowl of clean water with you so that the turtle can drink.

What you need to know before buying

Raising and breeding red-eared turtles in captivity is not difficult, so even beginners can acquire reptiles. However, before purchasing pets, you should learn not only about content issues, but also other nuances. In winter, these turtles do not hibernate, and spend most of their lives in the water, so it is important to monitor the cleanliness and parameters of the liquid in the terrarium. When buying tiny reptiles, the owner must understand that the baby will soon grow up, and she will need a spacious container to keep it, otherwise the turtle will get sick.

Red-eared turtle: how to care and keep at home

Rub-eared turtles are some of the most popular pets to watch and care for. These reptiles are unpretentious, beautiful, easy to tame, and have a funny behavior. Another advantage of reptiles is that red-eared turtles live at home for a rather long time, so the owner will not have to mourn the loss of a pet. Despite the fact that keeping yellow-bellied beauties in the terrarium is easy, inexperienced owners often make gross mistakes that lead to a reduction in the life span of red-eared turtles. To avoid such consequences, you should learn about how to care for turtles before buying.

Water environment

Turtles spend most of their time in the water, so it is important to pay attention to the aquatic environment in the terrarium. Reptiles prefer clean, clear liquids, so be sure to install a filter in a container.

The liquid for filling the terrarium is used settled, without chlorine and harmful impurities. The water temperature for red-eared turtles is 22-28C. To maintain the number of degrees, a heater and a thermometer are needed. The liquid is renewed weekly, replacing 1/3 of the volume. It is important to note that the well-being and life of reptiles depends on the attention of the owner in this matter.

What does a red-eared turtle eat??

The red-eared turtle has an omnivorous diet. They need abundant aquatic vegetation, as this is the main food of adults. Turtles have no teeth, but instead have serrated and sharp horny ridges on the upper and lower jaws.

  • aquatic insects;
  • worms;
  • crickets;
  • snails;
  • small fish,
  • frog eggs,
  • tadpoles,
  • water snakes,
  • a variety of algae.

Adults tend to be more herbivores than adolescents. In youth, the red-eared turtle is a predator, feeding on insects, worms, tadpoles, small fish and even carrion. Adults are more inclined to a vegetarian diet, but do not give up meat if they can get it.

An interesting fact! Sex in turtles is determined during the embryogenesis phase and depends on the incubation temperature. These reptiles lack the sex chromosomes that determine sex. Eggs that are incubated at 22. 27 ° C become only males, while eggs that are incubated at higher temperatures become females.

These reptiles are highly adaptable to their environment and can adapt to anything from brackish waters to man-made canals and city ponds. The red-eared turtle can wander away from water and survive in cold winters. Once an accessible habitat is found, the species will quickly colonize a new area.

Natural enemies of the red-eared turtle

Due to its size, bite and shell thickness, an adult red-eared turtle should not be afraid of predators, of course, if there are no alligators or crocodiles nearby. She can pull her head and limbs into the carapace when threatened. In addition, the red ewes watch out for predators and seek refuge in the water at the first sign of danger.

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However, this does not apply to juveniles, which are hunted by various predators, including:

  • raccoons;
  • skunks;
  • foxes;
  • wading birds;
  • storks.

Raccoon, skunk and fox also steal eggs from this species of turtles. Juveniles have an unusual defense against predatory fish. When swallowed whole, they hold their breath and chew the mucous membrane inside the fish until the fish vomits them up. The bright coloration of small predators warns large fish to avoid them.

In their home range, red-eared turtles occupy an important ecological niche both as a food product and as a predator. Outside of their habitats, they fill the same types of niches and become an important food source for predators in urban and suburban areas.

Because of their adaptability, the red-eared turtles are the predominant species of turtles in urban environments. Most parks in many cities in the United States have thriving colonies of red-eared turtles for people to enjoy.

Origin of the species and description

Fossils indicate that turtles first appeared on earth about 200 million years ago, during the Upper Triassic. The first known turtle was Proganochelys quenstedli. It had a fully developed shell, skull-like skull and beak. But, Proganochelys had a few primitive features that modern turtles lack.

By the mid-Jurassic period, the turtles split into two main groups: the arched-necked (pleurodire) and the lateral-necked (cryptodires). Modern side-necked turtles are found only in the southern hemisphere and relocate their heads to the side under the shell. Arched-necked turtles tuck their heads in an S shape. Scutemy was one of the first arched-necked turtles.

Appearance and features

The shell length of this species of turtles can reach 40 cm, but the average length ranges from 12.5 to 28 cm. Females are usually larger than males. Their shell is divided into two sections: upper or dorsal carapace (carapace), lower, abdominal (plastron).

  • vertebral shields, which form the central elevated part;
  • pleural shields located around the vertebral shields;
  • edge shields.

The scutes are bone keratin elements. The carapace is oval and flattened (especially in males). The color of the shell changes depending on the age of the turtle. Carapax usually has a dark green background with light or dark markings. In young or newly hatched specimens, this is the color of green foliage, which gradually darkens in mature specimens. Until it turns dark green and then changes shade between brown and olive green.

The plastron is always light yellow with dark, paired, irregular markings in the center of the shields. The head, legs and tail are green with thin, irregularly shaped yellow lines. The entire shell is covered with stripes and markings that help mask.

An interesting fact! The animal is a poikilotherm, that is, it cannot independently regulate its body temperature and is completely dependent on the ambient temperature. For this reason, they need to sunbathe frequently to keep warm and maintain their body temperature.

Turtles have a complete skeletal system with partially webbed feet that help them swim. The red stripe on each side of the head made the red-eared turtle stand out from other species and became part of the name, as the stripe is located behind the eyes, where their (outer) ears should be.

These stripes can lose their color over time. Some individuals may have a small mark of the same color on the crown of the head. In addition, they have no visible external ear or external auditory canal. Instead, there is a middle ear completely covered with a cartilaginous tympanic disc.

Where does the red-eared turtle live??

Habitats are in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as warm climates in the southeastern United States. Their native territories range from southeastern Colorado to Virginia and Florida. In nature, red-eared turtles inhabit areas with sources of calm, warm water: ponds, lakes, swamps, streams and slow rivers.

They live where they can easily get out of the water, climb rocks or tree trunks to bask in the sun. They often sunbathe in a group or even on top of each other. These turtles in the wild always stay close to water unless they are looking for a new habitat or laying eggs.

Due to their popularity as pets, red eaters have been released or escaped into the wild in many parts of the world. Wild populations are now found in Australia, Europe, Great Britain, South Africa, the Caribbean, Israel, Bahrain, the Mariana Islands, Guam, and Southeast and Far East Asia.

An invasive species has a negative impact on the ecosystems it occupies because it has certain advantages over native inhabitants, such as a lower age at maturity, higher fertility rates. They transmit disease and crowd out other species of turtles with which they compete for food and breeding grounds.

Red-eared turtle

The red-eared turtle is the most popular domestic amphibian in the world, so it became the best-selling one at the end of the 20th century. This species is native to the southern United States and northern Mexico. However, it gradually began to spread to other regions, due to the refusal of people to keep it as a pet and throwing it into local waters.

The invasion and seizure of territories caused by imprudent human activities led to problems with the fauna of many countries, as the red-eared turtle crowds out local species. The little redfly is included in the list, which was published by the IUCN, of the 100 most invasive species.

Social structure and reproduction

Male turtles reach sexual maturity when their shell reaches 10 cm, and females mature when their shell is 15 cm.Both males and females are ready to reproduce at the age of five to six years. The male is smaller than the female, although this parameter is sometimes difficult to apply, since the compared individuals may be of different ages.

Courtship and mating takes place underwater from March to July. During courtship, the male swims around the female, directing his pheromones towards her. The female begins to swim towards the male and, if she is receptive, sinks to the bottom to mate. Courtship lasts about 45 minutes, but mating takes only 10 minutes.

The female lays between two and 30 eggs, depending on body size and other factors. over, one individual can lay up to five clutches in one year, with time intervals of 12-36 days.

Interesting fact! Fertilization of the egg occurs during oviposition. This process makes it possible to lay fertilized eggs in the next season, since the sperm remains viable and available in the female’s body even in the absence of mating.

In the last weeks of gestation, the female spends less time in the water and looks for a suitable place to lay eggs. She digs a nest hole using her hind legs.

Incubation takes 59 to 112 days. The offspring remains inside the eggshell after hatching for two days. During the first days, the cubs still feed from the yolk sac, the supply of which still remains in the egg. The place through which the yolk is absorbed must heal on its own before the turtles can swim. Time between hatching and immersion in water is 21 days.

Features of character and lifestyle

Red-eared turtles live from 20 to 30 years, but they can live more than 40 years. The quality of their habitat has a strong impact on life expectancy and well-being. Turtles spend most of their time in water, but since they are cold-blooded reptiles, they leave the water for sunbathing to regulate their body temperature. They absorb heat more efficiently when the limbs are extended outward.

Little reds do not hibernate, but plunge into a kind of suspended animation. When the turtles become less active, they sometimes rise to the surface for food or air. In the wild, turtles hibernate at the bottom of water bodies or shallow lakes. They usually become inactive in October when temperatures drop below 10 ° C.

During this time, the turtles go into a stupor state, during which they do not eat or defecate, remain almost motionless, and their respiration rate decreases. Individuals are more often found under water, but have also been found under rocks, in hollow stumps and sloping banks. In warmer climates, they can become active in winter and come to the surface for swimming. When the temperature starts to drop, they quickly return to a stupor state.

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On a note! Red-eared turtles are fished for food from early March to late April.

With brumation, the species can survive anaerobically (without air intake) for several weeks. The metabolic rate in turtles during this time drops sharply, and heart rate and cardiac output are reduced by 80% to minimize the need for energy.