Red Eared Slider

PHOTO CREDITS: LESLEY CHNG

About

The red-eared slider, scientific name is the Trachemys scripta elegans, is also known as the water slider turtle.

They are sold in most pet shops under the cover of “terrapins”, and are popular house animals.

Native or Introduced?
Introduced, by irresponsible pet owners who choose to release them into our water bodies.

Habitat

Can be found naturally occuring in freshwater ponds, freshwater lakes, marshes, swamps, streams, and small rivers or tributaries

Natural diet
They are omnivorous, and feed on aquatic vegetation, small fish and any decaying matter found in the suspension of their living quarters.

Territoriality
Male red-eared sliders are highly territorial and will show signs of aggression or dominance towards other male red-eared sliders. Of note is their frequent “fluttering” of their front claws to indicate tension and that a fight is brewing, or simply to flaunt a higher social status.

Sociality
Where released, they form large groups, however survive in soliditary, contrary to what pet store owners say about them (quote: “Reservoir already so many, you release it, let it make friends with the rest”)

Activity Pattern
Active during the day

Where can you find it in Singapore?
Freshwater ponds in parks, abandoned quarries, reservoirs

One thought on “Red Eared Slider

  1. Good summary of this species’ characteristics. You mentioned some of its habitat types – do you know what is the Red-eared Slider’s native range? And as one of the ‘World’s 100 Worst Invasive Alien Species’, what characteristics do you think enable the Red-eared Slider to spread to such a wide range?

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