Trachemys scripta (Schoepff, 1792)
Last updated: October 31, 2006
A medium to large (20-60 cm) freshwater turtle characterised by prominent yellow to red patches on each side of the head, typically red on T. scripta elegans, the most commonly traded subspecies of the 15 described. Carapace and skin are olive to brown with yellow stripes or spots. Males are usually smaller than females and have a long, thick tail. The diet of this opportunistic predator changes from highly carnivorous in juveniles to omnivorous in adults.