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jueves, junio 03, 2010

探頭 巴西烏龜 (Red-eared Slider)

探頭 巴西烏龜 (Red-eared Slider), inserito originariamente da *KUO CHUAN.

The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is a semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae. It is a subspecies of pond slider. It is a native of the southern United States, but has become common in various areas of the world due to the pet trade. They are popular pets in the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Red-eared slider
Plastron of an adult red-eared slider
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Anapsida
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Trachemys
Species: T. scripta
Subspecies: T. s. elegans
Trinomial name
Trachemys scripta elegans
(Wied-Neuwied, 1839)

Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red mark around their ear. The "slider" part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly. This species was previously known as Troost's turtle in honor of an American herpetologist; Trachemys scripta troostii is now the scientific name for another subspecies, the Cumberland turtle.

Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but leave the water to bask in the sun and lay eggs. These reptiles are deceptively fast and are also excellent swimmers. They hunt for prey and will attempt to capture it when the opportunity presents itself. They are aware of predators and people and generally shy away from them. The red-eared slider is known to frantically slide off rocks and logs when approached.

Contrary to the popular misconception that red-eared sliders do not have saliva, they, like most aquatic turtles, have fixed tongues. This is the reason they must eat their food in water.

The female red-eared slider grows to be 25–33 cm (10–13 in) in length and males 20–25 cm (8–10 in). The red stripe on each side of the head distinguishes the red-eared slider from all other North American species. The carapace (top shell) is oval and flattened (especially in the male), has a weak keel that is more pronounced in the young, and the rear marginal scutes are notched. The carapace usually consists of a dark green background with light and dark highly variable markings. The plastron (bottom shell) is yellow with dark paired irregular markings in the center of most scutes. The plastron is highly variable in pattern. The head, legs, and tail are green with fine yellow irregular lines. Some dimorphism occurs between males and females. Male turtles are usually smaller than females but their tail is much longer and thicker. Claws are elongated in males which facilitate courtship and mating. Typically, the cloacal opening of the female is at or under the rear edge of the carapace while the male's opening occurs beyond the edge of the carapace. Older males can sometimes have a melanistic coloration being a dark grayish olive green, with markings being very subdued. The red stripe on the sides of the head may be difficult to see or be absent.

Red-eared sliders are omnivores and eat a variety of animal and plant materials in the wild including, but not limited to fish, crayfish, carrion, tadpoles, snails, crickets, wax worms, aquatic insects and numerous aquatic plant species. The captive diet for pet red-eared sliders should be a varied diet consisting of invertebrates such as worms, aquatic and land plants, and other natural foods. They should never be fed commercial dog food or cat food. Commercial turtle foods can be used sparingly and should not be used as the primary food. Calcium (for shell health) can be supplemented by adding pieces of cuttlebone to the diet, or with commercially available vitamin supplements. A nutritious food readily accepted by young turtles is baby clams soaked in krill oil covered with powdered coral calcium. Younger turtles tend to be more carnivorous (eat more animal protein) than adults do. As they grow larger and older, they become increasingly herbivorous. Live foods are particularly enjoyed and add to the quality of life of captive turtles. Providing a wide variety of foods is the key to success with captive red-eared sliders

Reptiles do not hibernate but actually brumate, becoming less active but occasionally rising for food or water. Brumation can occur in varying degrees. Red-eared sliders brumate over the winter at the bottom of ponds or shallow lakes and they become inactive, generally, in October, when temperatures fall below 50 °F (10 °C). Individuals usually brumate underwater. They have also been found under banks and hollow stumps and rocks. In warmer winter climates they can become active and come to the surface for basking. When the temperature begins to drop again, however, they will quickly return to a brumation state. Sliders will generally come up for food in early March to as late as the end of April. Red-eared sliders kept captive indoors should not hibernate. To prevent attempted hibernation/brumation in an aquarium, lights should be on for 12–14 hours per day and the water temperature should be maintained between 76–80 °F (24–27 °C). Water temperatures must be under 55 °F (13 °C) in order for aquatic turtles to brumate properly. Controlling temperature changes to simulate natural seasonal fluctuations encourages mating behavior.

Courtship and mating activities for red-eared sliders usually occur between March and July, and take place underwater. The male swims toward the female and flutters or vibrates the back side of his long claws on and around her face and head. The female swims toward the male and, if she is receptive, sinks to the bottom for mating. If the female is not receptive, she may become aggressive towards the male. The courtship can take up to forty-five minutes, but the mating itself usually takes only ten to fifteen minutes.[citation needed]

Sometimes a male will appear to be courting another male. This is actually a sign of dominance and they may begin to fight. Juveniles may display the courtship dance, but until the turtles are five years of age they are not mature and are unable to mate.[citation needed]

After mating, the female spends extra time basking in order to keep her eggs warm. She may also have a change of diet, eating only certain foods or not eating as much as she normally would. Mating begins in May and egg-laying occurs in May through early July. A female might lay from two to thirty eggs, with larger females having larger clutches. One female can lay up to five clutches in the same year and clutches are usually spaced twelve to thirty-six days apart. Turtle eggs are fertilized as they are being laid and buried in the sand. The time between mating and egg laying can be days or weeks.

The red-eared slider is commonly kept as a pet and is often sold cheaply (and illegally). Red-eared sliders are the most common type of water turtle kept as pets. As with other turtles, tortoises and box turtles, individuals that survive their first year or two can be expected to live almost as long as their owners. Individuals of this species have lived at least 35 years in captivity.

Red-eared sliders can be quite aggressive—especially when food is involved. If being kept as a pet, care must be taken to prevent injury or even death of its smaller tankmates. However, the opposite can occur if shrimps are introduced as food. Smaller red-eared sliders less than a year old have been known to choke on the shells of the shrimps and suffer from lung puncture.



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