The yellow-bellied slider is an attractive species, especially as a juvenile, and is easily maintained in captivity. It is less well-known in captivity than its cousin, the red-eared slider. Yellow-bellied sliders do well in shallow water aquaria. They require basking sites that allow full emergence from the water. A basking light that provides a temperature or approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit will be a necessity. Plastic grating or egg crate material provides a good basking platform, as the plastic will not be abrasive to the turtle’s plastron, and the grating will allow the plastron to dry, reducing the chances of shell fungus and rot. Yellow-bellied sliders are omnivorous, however, juveniles tend to be more carnivorous than adults. Aquatic insects, such as dragonfly larvae are consumed in the wild, as well as crayfish and snails. Captives will readily consume turtle pellets, chopped meat, lettuce and fruits. Yellow-bellied sliders are long-lived turtles, and specimens originally captured on the Savannah River Site during the late 1960s and 1970s, are still recaptured.
The yellow-bellied slider is a habitat generalist, being found in slow-moving rivers, floodplain swamps, marshes, and permanent ponds. It frequently colonizes seasonal wetlands, such as Carolina bays. It is adept at overland travel. Throughout much of Alabama the yellow-bellied slider intergrades with the red-eared slider.
The yellow-bellied slider is found in the southeastern United States from Alabama to southeastern Virginia. It is primarily a species of the coastal plain and Piedmont regions.
Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta scripta
Species Group: turtle
Size: Females can attain carapace lengths of near 11 inches, while males are smaller at approximately 8 inches.