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Turtles/What kind of Turtles do I have?


We have 18 baby turtles in our pond and we are not sure if they are a snapping or tarrapin's- here is picture of a few them on my duck dock.  I need to know if these little ones can live with my ducks in our pond?

Hi Rachelle,

It's a little difficult to give an accurate ID based on the picture, but they look like sliders--if you see a red stripe behind the eye, they're red-eared sliders, if not, more likely to be yellow-bellied sliders.  And they're definitely not babies, which would be very bright green and very small (maybe 2").  Those are at least juveniles, but I can't say for certain because there's nothing in the picture to compare for size.  An adult would be 5+", although mature females can be up to about 12".  

They're harmless to your ducks, although they will eat smaller fish.  If conditions are right, they'll breed and you may end up with more than you want.  If you find any digging nests, you can always dig up the eggs and destroy them if you find the population is getting out of hand.  


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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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