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Yellow-bellied slider?

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: What is it?
Forum Description: Seen something in the wild and wondering what it is? This is the place to ask
Printed Date: 07 Jul 2020 at 7:09pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Yellow-bellied slider?
Posted By: Nik
Subject: Yellow-bellied slider?
Date Posted: 27 May 2019 at 8:49am
Hi folks,

Just come across this website - looks great and I've signed up!

Please see attached photo of a turtle that's been living in a pond near me for about a year now. I asked the tutor of a course I was on recently and he says it's probably a yellow- bellied slider. Does that look right?

He also said that it's too cold in the UK (currently) for their eggs to hatch, but are they likely to be any danger to other amphibians in the pond? Hope not because she's a favourite of joggers and dog-walkers who pass by the pond!


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2019 at 4:17pm
Hello and welcome Nik

Yes, with it's boldly yellow-striped head lacking the horizontal bright red stripe behind the eye (as worn by the very closely related Red-eared Terrapin Trachemys scripta elegans), this looks like Yellow-bellied Slider Trachemys scripta scripta to me.

After the Red-eared, this was probably the terrapin most frequently imported for the pet trade (and consequently released into 'the wild' by owners who'd outgrown them).
They are omnivorous opportunists, consuming a range of plant material, plus carrion, tadpoles, invertebrates etc. Any piscine or amphibian individuals that stray within range of that sharp, snapping beak might also wish they hadn't. In small ponds where goldfish are also present, it's not uncommon to see a few with sections of fin missing.

Terrapins are apparently never 'off guard'. I remember watching one that had been basking completely motionless on a rock for some time in a seemingly sleepy, disinterested manner. When it caught sight of a nearby Tegenaria house spider (presumably out of the corner of it's eye), the terrapin suddenly sprang to life, twisting it's body round and snapping voraciously before dragging it's prey down into the water by the legs.
It reminded me of crocodile behaviour.


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