Florida Red Belly Turtle

Pseudemys nelsoniFlorida Red Belly Turtle or Cooter

Description: Florida Red Belly Turtles are a fairly large turtle and can grow to 8-14 inches in length. Their carapace or top shell is olive to black often with faded reddish brown patterning and has a high dome shape. Their plastron or bottom shell is distinctly orange to red in coloration which gives them their common name.

Range: These turtles naturally occur in most of Florida into extreme south eastern Georgia and have also been introduced in parts of Texas.

Habitat: These turtles can be found in and around nearly any water habitat such as; lakes, rivers, marshes, and ponds and are even sometimes found in brackish waters.

Diet:
Wild: Red belly turtles are mainly herbivorous eating a variety of aquatic vegetation and occasionally scavenging on carrion that they find.
Zoo: Pelleted turtle diet

Reproduction: Females will lay between 12 and 30 eggs in late spring to early summer and are known to often bury their eggs in alligator nests.

Fun Fact: The high domed and thick shell of these turtles is believed to be an adaptation which helps them survive alligator attacks.