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Reptiles/Hatchling Mississippi Map Turtle


QUESTION: I have 2 hatchling Mississippi Map turtles, one of them is fine but the other (Curtis) sleeps all day and I am not sure if he eats because I leave the room to see if he's just scared of me and will eat when I'm not there. He is really really lazy and I never see him swimming around like his brother. Is he sick or is this normal?

(40 Gallon Breeder, 125GPH filter, Heat lamp, UVB Lamp, EHIEM Heater, and pond rocks.)

ANSWER: Hello Bennett,

Are they housed together?
Did you get them at the same time?  Do you have any pictures of him?
A 40 gallon tank should be sufficient for housing them together.  
Is his brother possibly dominating them?  
He could have worms or parasites that could be affecting him health.  Is he losing any weight that you can tell?
It isn't normal for him not to eat & swim around though, he should be much more active.

Let me know how he is doing.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Curtis Sleeping
Curtis Sleeping  
QUESTION: I got them at the same time and from the same place. I most certainly do not think one is dominating the other because there is plenty of space for them to be a part and to my knowledge there has been no physical engagement. Like I said before there is a slight possibility that he is eating and + the fact that is no noticible weight loss. He just is a very very very lazy turtle. Maybe he's trying to hibernate?

Hello Bennett,

Ok, that is good to know.  The 40 gallon is pretty good sized for them both.
You may find though, that sometimes the males might become aggressive towards each other as they become adults.
Curtis is very cute, too!  The babies would not brumate, they are too young.  They could perhaps have a slight slow down but not a full brumation.  His brother would likely be going through the same thing, too.
They all have different personalities.  It may just take him a little longer to adjust than his brother did for some reason.  
Since he isn't losing weight & isn't acting ill, other than him just being lazy & sleepy more, I would just continue to offer food for him.  Have you tried hand feeding him at all?  
Which type & brand of UVB are you using?   How often are you giving calcium for them?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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