Our Red Eared Terrapins can be found all throughout the USA in slow moving fresh water rivers which is why there is such a large population that call the Mississippi River their home. The temperatures in these rivers may fluctuate through the year as it gets colder around October so will become less active and will rest in the bottom of shallow pools occasionally searching for food and water. This practice is called brumating and is a less extreme version of full hibernation. They love the heat and unlike the Mississippi Map Turtles prefer to spend their time bathing in the sun rather than the water.

The easiest way to recognise the Red Eared Terrapin is the skin behind their eye is red which is where they get their name from. Like many other amphibians these terrapins can live up to 70 years old and will see their diet change with age. As youngsters they tend to live of a carnivore diet of plenty insects, crustaceans and fish but as they grow older tend to eat more plant products which me be because it is easier to get a hold of.

Male terrapins have very long claws on their front feet that they use to help them attract a mate. They will wave them in front of the females face to get her attention and will even use them to tickle her chin. Female terrapins may have lots of hatchings in their lifetime but will offer no motherly care. Each year they can lay two crops of eggs with a maximum of 25 eggs each time which they bury in a hole in the ground. Three months later the eggs will hatch and the young terrapins will fend for themselves.


Reptile: semi-aquatic predator

What do they eat?

Insects, crustaceans, fish and plants


Max 33cm

Water Type

Fresh Water

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