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Wood And Bog Turtles

Wood and Bog Turtle species profile.

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wood and bog turtles
Adequate space is important when keeping wood and bog turtles.
Photograph by Dick Bartlett

Wood and bog turtles (Clemmys insculpta and C. muhlenbergii) are largely terrestrial species. Because of habitat degradation, collecting for the pet industry and predation, the wood and bog turtle populations have dwindled rapidly. Both bog and wood turtles are now protected by law from collection over virtually their entire ranges.

Adequate space is important for wood and bog turtles. One or two small 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. For haulout areas, a few limb sections wedged into place and protruding well above the water in the center of the tank are ideal in most cases.


Warmth – especially in the form of a basking area – is very important. Most wood and bog turtles enjoy basking temperatures ranging from 84 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Water temperatures between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are fine. Vitamin D and calcium supplements, used in conjunction with full-spectrum lighting, will give turtles a better chance at good health.