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Trachemys scripta elegans

Trachemys scripta elegans
Red Ear Slider Turtle
The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is a semiaquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae. It is a subspecies of pond slider. It is the most popular pet turtle in the United States and also popular in the rest of the world. It is native only to the southern United States, but has become established in other places because of pet releases and has become an invasive species in many introduced areas, like California, where it outcompetes the native western pond turtle.

Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red patch of skin around their ears. The "slider" part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly. This species was previously known as Troost's turtle in honor of an American herpetologist; Trachemys scripta troostii is now the scientific name for another subspecies, the Cumberland slider.

Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but leave the water to bask in the sun and lay eggs. These reptiles are deceptively fast and are also decent swimmers. They hunt for prey and will attempt to capture it when the opportunity presents itself. They are aware of predators and people, and generally shy away from them. The red-eared slider is known to frantically slide off rocks and logs when approached.
Contrary to the popular misconception, red-eared sliders do not have saliva. They, like most aquatic turtles, have fixed tongues, so they must eat their food in water

The female red-eared slider grows to be 25–33 cm (10–13 in) in length and males 20–25 cm (8–10 in). The red stripe on each side of the head distinguishes the red-eared slider from all other North American species. The carapace (top shell) is oval and flattened (especially in the male), has a weak keel that is more pronounced in the young, and the rear marginal scutes are notched. The carapace usually consists of a dark green background with light and dark highly variable markings. The plastron (bottom shell) is yellow with dark, paired, irregular markings in the center of most scutes. The plastron is highly variable in pattern. The head, legs, and tail are green with fine, yellow, irregular lines. Some dimorphism occurs between males and females. Male turtles are usually smaller than females but their tail is much longer and thicker. Claws are elongated in males to allow a better grip on the carapace of females during mating. Typically, the cloacal opening of the female is at or under the rear edge of the carapace, while the male's opening occurs beyond the edge of the carapace. Older males can sometimes have a melanistic coloration, being a dark grayish-olive green, with markings being very subdued. The red stripe on the sides of the head may be difficult to see or be absent.

Reptiles do not hibernate, but actually brumate, becoming less active, but occasionally rising for food or water. Brumation can occur in varying degrees. Red-eared sliders brumate over the winter at the bottom of ponds or shallow lakes; they become inactive, generally, in October, when temperatures fall below 10 °C (50 °F). Individuals usually brumate under water. They have also been found under banks and hollow stumps and rocks. In warmer winter climates, they can become active and come to the surface for basking. When the temperature begins to drop again, however, they will quickly return to a brumation state. Sliders will generally come up for food in early March to as late as the end of April. Red-eared sliders kept captive indoors should not brumate. To prevent attempted brumation in an aquarium, lights should be on for 12–14 hours per day and the water temperature should be maintained between 24 and 27 °C (75 and 81 °F). Water temperatures must be under 13 °C (55 °F) for aquatic turtles to brumate properly. Controlling temperature changes to simulate natural seasonal fluctuations encourages mating behavior.

红耳龟因其头顶后部两侧有2条红色粗条纹,故得名。红耳龟在市面上更经常被叫做巴西龟,大多数种类产于巴西,个别种产于美国的密西西比河。 巴西龟是世界公认的生态杀手,已经被世界环境保护组织列为100多个最具破坏性的物种,多个国家已将其列为危险性外来入侵物种!中国也已将其列入外来入侵物种,对中国自然环境的破坏难以估量。