Hatchling Southern Painted Turtle
Age Group: Hatchling
Common Name: Southern Painted Turtle
Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta dorsalis
Description: Hatchling Southern Painted Turtles are less than 1 inch in diameter and are significantly brighter than their adult versions. They are a vibrant green with yellowish to a reddish orange racing stripe running down the middle of their shells. Their skin is an olive green with yellow stripes.
Origin: This species originates fromIllinois to Missouri over to Alabama and Louisiana.
Lifespan: Southern Painted Turtles can live up to 30 years with proper care.
Habitat in captivity: Hatchling Southern Painted Turtles require a 10 gallon aquarium which they will eventually outgrow and require a larger aquarium until they finally reach their adult size. Other things your turtle will need to do well in your care are:
- UVB Light – To metabolize calcium, a turtle requires UVB lighting which can be provided by a Coil Bulb or Mercury Vapor Bulb. These will eventually lose their ability to output UVB lighting long before the physical light dies, therefore regardless of how bright the light seems, replace all bulbs every 6 months and Mercury Vapor bulbs annually.
- Basking Light and UVA – UVA lights are required for turtle’s circadian rhythm to function correctly. This controls their feeding, sleep and breeding cycles. Basking areas are also important especially in this breed as they are known for being very fond of their basking spots and it should be in the high 80s to low 90s.
- submersible water heater may be required to raise the temperature to the correct level.
- Filtration – As turtles can be quite messy, water filtration is necessary to keep the water safe and clean for your turtles.
- Habitat Décor – Southern Painted Turtles are very fond of their cage decorations, particularly basking logs and plants. Other cage decorations can include substrate, ornaments and Driftwood.
Diet: Southern Painted Turtles are omnivores but are mainly carnivorous as hatchlings. Pellets made by Zilla or ReptoMin are recommended as they are specifically designed to provide all the nutrients required for your growing turtle. 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: The average size of an adult is 3 1/2 to 7 inches or more with the females being larger than the males.
Community Turtle: The Southern Painted Turtle is fairly docile and does well in community tanks with appropriately sized turtles as long as plenty of space is provided for each turtle. A good rule of thumb is to offer 10 extra gallons for every inch of extra turtle.