African Black Mud Turtle

Pelusios subnigerAfrican Mud Turtle

Description: This turtle has a moderately domed, dark colored shell. There is a hinge on the bottom shell which allows adults to close the front end only. The large head is generally brown colored and may be dappled with gray and black spots. The jaws are tan or yellow.

Range: Eastern and Southeastern Africa and Madagascar.

Habitat: Found in shallow waters of soft bottomed marshes, streams and ponds.

Reproduction: Females nest during the summer, from October through January, and sometimes until April. Nests are dug by the female as far as 1,640 ft. from the water. Females can lay 7-30 eggs per clutch, which will incubate for roughly 48 days.

Diet: African black mud turtles are primarily carnivorous but will eat aquatic plants too, especially as juveniles. In the wild they eat the water grasses and algae, insects, worms, snails, small fish, amphibians, and crabs.

Fun Fact: Mud turtles are hardy. They are designed to withstand poor conditions. If it gets too hot, too cold or too dry they will burrow into the mud until better conditions arrive.