What Do Aquatic Turtles Eat?

Some aquatic turtle species are very well-known as pets, particularly the pink-eared slider, which is why discussing their eating plans is of utmost relevance! What aquatic turtles are, what they consume in the wild, and how you should really feed them at house – we explain to you all the solutions and tricks!

What Are Aquatic Turtles?

Though they are identified as aquatic turtles, implying that they stay solely in the drinking water, they often go on land, primarily to lay eggs. Numerous aquatic turtles are living in the depths of the around the world waters, so we’ll only focus on some of them, generally map turtles, mud turtles, and pond sliders, with just one species for each and every. This way, we’ll get a basic idea of their feeding habits.

In this report, we’ll discuss the northern map turtle, the yellow mud turtle, and the pink-eared slider.

What Are Northern Map Turtles?

Types of pond turtles - Northern Map Turtle
The northern map turtle will get its name from the style and design on its shell.

RLS Picture/Shutterstock.com

In scientific terms, the northern map turtle is also named the common map turtle or Graptemys geographica. It’s portion of the Emydidae spouse and children and endemic to North The united states. Its carapace has markings that resemble map contour traces, therefore its name. The lines may possibly be yellow, orange, or tan with darkish borders, although the carapace is both grayish brown or olive.

Male northern map turtles are smaller sized than females, owning 3.9 – 6.3-inch very long carapaces and weighing 5.3 – 14.1 ounces. Females’ carapaces can arrive at 10.6 inches, while their bodyweight may go up to 5.5 lbs!

A The Best Turtle Food for a Healthy Pet

What Are Yellow Mud Turtles?

yellow mud turtle
Yellow mud turtles are endemic to the Central United States and Mexico.

Kayla Blundell/Shutterstock.com

Yellow mud turtles are part of the Kinosternon genus of aquatic turtles. They are endemic to the Central United States and Mexico. These turtles are tiny and have yellow throats and heads. The sides of their necks are also yellow, though their plastrons are yellow to brown.

What Are Crimson-Eared Sliders?

red-eared slider turtle on log
Red-eared sliders are indigenous to the Midwestern United States and Northern Mexico.


The crimson-eared slider is scientifically identified as Trachemys scripta elegans and belongs to the Emydidae family members. This is probably the U.S.’s most popular pet turtle species and the world’s most traded turtle! It is also considered invasive.

Pink-eared sliders are indigenous to the Midwestern United States and Northern Mexico. They ordinarily increase as big as 6 to 8 inches, whilst some turtles could attain 16 inches. As with other turtles, women are generally bigger than males.

What Do Aquatic Turtles Consume?

Red-Eared Slider Price - Red-Eared Slider in Aquarium
Aquatic turtles try to eat crayfish, mollusks, beetles, frogs, snails, and vegetation.


Whilst most land-dwelling turtles are herbivorous, aquatic species are predominantly carnivorous. Aquatic turtles can take in crayfish, mollusks, beetles, frogs, snails, and vegetation.

Northern Map Turtles

Female and male map turtles have unique diet plans, generally for the reason that the woman heads have unique qualities. Woman map turtles can be divided into 3 groups with regard to their diet plans:

  1. Microcephalic women with slender heads almost never eat mollusks. Some species with microcephalic females are the yellow-blotched map turtle and the ringed map turtle.
  2. Mesocephalic girls with reasonably broad heads primarily eat mollusks but from time to time feed on softer-bodied prey. Northern map turtles, which we’re discussing below, are component of this group.
  3. Megacephalic girls with quite wide heads try to eat only mollusks. Some species with megacephalic females are the Alabama map turtle and the Escambia map turtle.

Male map turtles, together with male northern map turtles, do not have a diet regime that relies upon on their head width. For that reason, whilst Male Northern map turtles take in smaller prey, these kinds of as bugs and crustaceans, women feed on snails, clams, or crayfish, because their heads are greater and they have more robust jaws.

Yellow Mud Turtles

As opposed to northern map turtles, mud turtles don’t have a unique eating plan centered on their appearance. Though they generally eat worms, frogs, snails, fish, crayfish, slugs, fairy shrimp, leeches, or tadpoles, they are deemed omnivores. Yellow mud turtles’ diet program may perhaps at times include things like vegetation and decaying make any difference. These turtles look for food the two on land and in the water. In early spring, they primarily feed on fairy shrimp.

Crimson-Eared Sliders

Most pond slider species feed on invertebrates, modest fish, crustaceans, tadpoles, birds, and frogs. Pink-eared sliders are omnivores, which means they’ll take in each aquatic species and plant-dependent foodstuff, dependent on what they can uncover. Fruits, aquatic invertebrates, fish, sub-aquatic vegetation, and amphibians are all doable food sources. Baby purple-eared sliders consume compact fish, amphibian eggs, and tadpoles.

In October, or when the temperature drops beneath 50 levels Fahrenheit, purple-eared sliders enter a sopor point out, a affliction of irregular deep slumber. Throughout this time, the turtles neither eat nor defecate. When the weather conditions will get warmer, usually throughout early March or as late as the conclusion of April, purple-eared sliders return to usual and start on the lookout for foods.

How Should really I Feed My Aquatic Turtle?

Northern Map Turtle basking in the sun.
Deciding on a diet for your aquatic turtle is dependent on what species you have.


Selecting a diet for your aquatic turtle hugely depends on what aquatic turtle species you have. While most species are carnivores, some species also try to eat vegetation. The diet plan must also be adjusted based on the turtle’s measurement. Generally, here’s what you can give your aquatic turtle to eat:

  • Dwell fish, but not too frequently, as they may possibly include parasites and micro organism and may cause thiamine deficiency
  • Tadpoles
  • Frogs
  • Earthworms
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Grasshoppers
  • Moths
  • Mealworms
  • Beetles.

It’s not encouraged to give it raw meat or fish due to the fact they do not include the expected dietary values for an aquatic turtle.

Nonetheless, never neglect that carnivorous turtles should not take in only live animal protein. Their diet regime must also include things like commercially made turtle pellets.

Omnivorous turtles should really also try to eat vegetables, plant issue, and pellets moreover animal protein.

What Greens Can Aquatic Turtles Eat?

If your aquatic turtle is an omnivorous species, half of its diet will consist of plant subject. The other fifty percent should really be split involving animal protein and pellets. You can give it the pursuing greens:

It is very best if you can offer your aquatic turtle with dim, leafy greens mixed with other greens. Every single feeding ought to involve 2 – 3 varieties of greens and 1 – 2 kinds of vegetables. You can adjust their diet program when each and every two weeks.

What Fruits Can Aquatic Turtles Consume?

If your turtle is omnivorous, you might also give it uncooked fruit. You should minimize the fruit into little parts. Here’s what fruit a turtle will consume:

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