ISSN 2398-2985  

Yellow-bellied slider


Vetstream Ltd

Kirsty Dewhurst

Synonym(s): Trachemys scripta scripta


Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia.
  • Phylum: Chordata.
  • Class: Reptilia.
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Emydidae.
  • Genus: Trachemys.
  • Species: Scripta.
  • Subspecies: Scripta.

Distribution and habitat

  • Usually found in south eastern USA including Alabama, Virginia and Florida. 
  • It has since been introduced to other parts of the USA, Asia and Europe. 
  • Main habitats include slow-moving rivers, marshes, seasonal wetlands, swamps and ponds. 
  • ​As a diurnal turtle, it feeds mainly in the morning and will generally bask for the rest of the day. 
  • They sleep on the bottom of rivers or on the surface near brush piles. 
  • They are found in high numbers in algae rich areas. 
  • High level of vegetation provides cover from predators and supports high densities of aquatic life, offering better foraging than open water. 

Species status

  • Listed under the IUCN a of least concern.
  • Although not threatened, certain populations may be threatened by habitat loss, pollution and the pet trade. 

Life span

  • Over 30 years in the wild. 
  • Over 40 years in captivity. 


  • Omnivorous Chelonia nutrition
  • ​In the wild: 
    • Hatchlings are mainly carnivorous feeding on insects, crustaceans, spiders, fish, tadpoles and carrion. 
  • ​In captivity: 
    • Pond plants can be left in the water for them to feed on. 
    • In addition, vegetables such as romaine lettuce and greens can be provided if they are changed daily. 
    • Blood worm and animal proteins should be offered.


  • Males mature between 2-5 years, and females mature between 5-8 years Chelonia reproduction
  • Mating can occur in spring, summer and autumn. 
  • Mating takes place in water. 
  • Females will normally lay 5-20 eggs at a time, sometimes more for larger females. 
  • Up to 3 clutches can be laid per year. 
  • Eggs will incubate for 2-3 months with hatchlings usually staying with the nest through winter. 
  • It is possible for the yellow-bellied slider to interbreed with other subspecies of T. scripta, such as the red-eared sliders Red-eared slider

As pets

  • Are suitable as pets. 
  • Must be kept in water tanks, with water temperature ranging from 22-27°C/71.6-80.6°F.
  • A basking spot should be around 30-35°C/86-95°F
  • A basking area is also a necessity, as well as a UVA/UVB lamp. 
  • Although generally sociable, they can bite. 

Biological Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Alphapet (2018) Yellow-Bellied Turtles. Website: Last accessed 31st January 2018. 
  • Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina (2018) Yellow Bellied Slider Trachemys Scripta. Website: Last accessed 25th July 2018.
  • Arkive (2018) Yellow-Bellied Slider Turtle. Website: Last accessed 31st January 2018. 
  • RSPCA (2016) Slider Care Sheet. Website: Last accessed 25th July 2018.
  • Virginia Herpetological Society (2018) Yellow Bellied Slider Trachemys Scripta. Website: Last accessed 25th July 2018.
  • Wikipedia (2018) Yellow-Bellied Slider. Website: Last accessed 31st January 2018. 
  • van Dijk P P, Harding J & Hammerson G A (2011) Trachemys scripta. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Website: Last accessed on 26th July 2018.

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