Hatchling Ouachita Map Turtle
Age Group: Hatchling
Common Name: Ouachita Map Turtle
Scientific Name: Graptemys ouchitensis ouchitensis
Description: Hatchling Ouachita map turtles come into this world at 1” in diameter. This turtle gets it name from the distinct yellow lines that form a map-like pattern on the back. Their serrated carapace is very prominent. Their plastron is yellow with black markings. Their limbs and head are olive or black with yellow lines. Ouachita map turtles have three large marking on each side of their heads. One is below the mouth line, one below the eye and one behind the eye.
Origin: Ouachita map turtles are a North American species. Their range includes the Mississippi river from Wisconsin to Louisiana and east to Texas
Lifespan: Their average lifespan ranges from 15-20 years in captivity.
Habitat in captivity: Hatchling Ouachita map turtles can be started in a 10-gal aquarium setup. They have a habit of frequent basking and are good swimmers. Offer a good quality basking area and deep water will keep your map turtle happy. You also need to offer the following necessities;
- UVB Light – UVB is necessary for your turtle to properly metabolize calcium and to grow a perfect shell. Without it, your turtle will suffer from crippling diseases and possible early death. These lights need to be changed every 6 months if you are using a Coil Bulb or every year with a Mercury Vapor Bulb. Mercury Vapor Bulbs are a great product because they provide UVA, UVB and heat!
- Basking Light and UVA – UVA rays are necessary to encourage proper feeding responses and behavior in reptiles. By offering a basking light placed above their dry basking area, you are ensuring that your turtle can properly digest its food and maintain proper basking temperatures of the high 80’s to low 90’s.
- Heat – In addition to a basking light, water temperatures should be maintained at approximately 70 to 75 degrees for hatchlings by using a submersible water heater
- Filtration – While you are raising your hatchling, good water filtration is necessary to maintain a healthy living environment free of ammonia and other harmful toxins.
- Habitat Décor – This is up to the discretion of the owner. The enclosure can be as simple or complex as you want. It is necessary to provide your hatchling with a basking platform. Other cage decorations can include ornaments, substrate and Driftwood.
Diet: Ouachita map turtles are omnivorous. There are commercially available diets, like those from Zilla or ReptoMin. Along with that they can be fed feeder fish, feeder crickets, earthworms, krill, blood worms, occasional crayfish and ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, Anacharis, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water starwort, Hornwort, Water milfoil, and Frogbit), some vegetables (such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, Mustard Greens and Dandelions) and some fruits (i.e. Banana).
Size at Adulthood: Males can grow to be 2.5 to 5” while females tend to grow between 5 and 10”.
Community Turtle: Ouachita map turtles are a communal species. Add 10-gal for every inch of turtle in the community.