Year of the Turtle
Northeast Region

Turtles of the Month - Student Corner


Diamondback terrapin. Credit: USFWS



Spotted turtle


Painted turtle


Red-eared Slider


Wood turtle. Credit: Linh Phu


Eastern Musk turtle


2011 Year of the turtle graphic

Invasive Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Red-eared turtle. Credit: USFWS
Spotted turtle

Description. Broad red or orange strip behind each eye and yellow stripes on the neck and legs. Dark shell.

Habitat. Native range in the Mississippi Valley area of the United States. Species originated in the eastern U.S. Invasive populations can be found along the coastal states of the U.S., in Hawaii, and in parts of the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

Diet. Consists of plants, insects, snails, worms, tadpoles, crayfish and fish.

Status. Invasive, non-indigenous populations are thriving. Many populations established through the illegal release of pets.

Threats. Unlike other featured turtles, the red-eared slider is a threat to our native species, competing for habitat, food sources and nesting sites. Can also transmit parasites and diseases to which our native turtles have no immunity.

To learn more, visit:
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
U.S. Geological Survey
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
National Biological Information Infrastructure

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Last updated: September 7, 2011