how do I figure out what gender my turtle is and what kind of turtle

Sexing:  http://www.chelonia.org/sexing/sexing_Chrysemys_picta.htm.  You can't sex immature turtles, however.

As far as what species, if you got it from someone else or from a pet store, go back and ask.  If it's a wild turtle, take it back to where you found it and let it go in a safe area.  Wild turtles belong in the wild, and the chances of it doing well in captivity, especially if you're not already an experienced keeper, aren't as high as they would be for a captive bred turtle.  Turtles require large tanks, special equipment (filter and UVB lighting), and a good, varied diet, so if you're interested in having a turtle it would be a good idea to do research beforehand so you know what you're getting into both in terms of time and money.

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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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