Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Identification: Greenish or brown carapace marked with yellow and black bands or stripes. Plastron is yellowish, with black blotch in each scute. Skin of head, neck, limbs is greenish with yellow stripes; red or orange band behind each eye.
Photo © Jim Harding
Adult carapace length: 5 to 11 inches (12.7 to 28 cm).
Habitat: Quiet waters with abundant plant growth and basking sites (logs, etc.).
Habits: Often bask in sun, ready to "slide" into the water if disturbed, hence common name. Feeds on aquatic plants, crayfish, snails, insects, carrion, etc.
Reproduction: Males use long fore-claws to tickle female's head during courtship. In June, female buries 4 to 25 oval, soft shelled eggs in sunny spot. Incubation takes 65 to 80 days.
Range and Status: Found in Muskegon and Lansing areas, Oakland County, and perhaps elsewhere. Possibly introduced through pet trade importation.
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