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Mata-Mata Turtle

Mata-Mata Turtle species profile.

Reptiles Magazine 0808
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The mata-mata turtle (Chelus fumbriatus) appears occasionally in the pet trade. The mata-mata is a sedentary, aquatic species that has a remarkable appearance. They prefer shallow waters where they can breathe by extending their long necks and tubed noses to the surface.

Adequate space is important for the mata-mata turtle. One or two small, semiaquatic turtles could properly live in at least a 40 gallon breeder size tank, but more space is always preferable. Cleanliness is essential for the health of the turtles. Enclosures should be cleaned frequently.


Water temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are fine for the mata-mata turtle. Vitamin D and calcium supplements, used in conjunction with full-spectrum lighting, will give turtles a better chance at good health.