Juvenile Three-Striped Mud Turtle
Age Group: Juvenile
Common Name: Three-Striped Mud Turtle, 3-striped Mud Turtle
Scientific Name: Kinosternon baurii
Description: Juvenile Three-Striped Mud Turtles are generally sold at approximately 2 inches. Juvenile turtles are a great way to ensure you are purchasing a more established specimen as hatchlings tend to be more fragile. Juvenile Three-Striped Mud Turtles have keels running down their shell that are starting to become smoother as they are aging. They get their name from the 3 distinct, fading yellow stripes that run down their carapace over a black or grey background. They also have yellow striping on their face. Owners of this species report that they have an exceptionally personable attitude, readily responding to hand feeding and interaction with their owner.
Origin: This species is originally from Florida to Georgia.
Lifespan: Three-Striped Mud Turtles can live up to50 years with the proper care.
Habitat in captivity: Juvenile Three-Striped Mud Turtles can be comfortably housed in a 20-gallon aquarium. These turtles enjoy basking on floating objects with plenty of cover for privacy. Other things your turtle will need to do well in your care are:
- UVB Light – A Coil Bulb or Mercury Vapor Bulb is required for your turtle to metabolize calcium and form a properly shaped shell.
- Basking Light and UVA – Basking spots are very important as this species is very active out of water and should have 1/3 of its enclosure above the water’s edge. Basking temperatures for the Three-Striped Mud Turtle should be in the high 80s to low 90s. The UVA provided by the basking light encourages natural habits and stimulates a healthy appetite.
- Heat – Using a submersible water heater to maintain a water temperature of around 80 degrees for juvenile turtles is recommended.
- Filtration – The use of a water filtration is ideal to maintain healthy pH and ammonia levels in your turtle’s habitat.
- Habitat Décor – This turtle does very well with a habitat full of live plants and a sandy substrate. Artificial plants pose a drowning risk due to their rigidity. Until your juvenile is grown up, it is best to avoid fake plants. Other cage decorations such as ornaments and Driftwood should be used with caution. Make sure that whatever ornamentation is chosen, the turtle should not be able to get underneath it.
Diet: Three-striped mud turtles are omnivorous, but juvenile animals seem to exhibit a strong carnivorous tendency. Commercially available pellets made by ReptoMin and Zilla are a great staple diet along with small feeder fish, mealworms, bloodworms and other sources of protein. You can also offer your turtle small amounts of fruit and vegetables.
Size at adulthood: The average size of an adult is 3-4 inches, they are a small species with a big personality.
Community Turtle: These turtles generally do not do well with other turtles. They are prone to showing slight aggression to soft shelled species and turtles who appear similar to themselves.