DavidHowdon's picture


Observed: 11th April 2010 By: DavidHowdon
Amateur Entomologists' SocietyLondon Natural History SocietySelborne Society
DavidHowdon’s reputation in Amphibians and ReptilesDavidHowdon’s reputation in Amphibians and ReptilesDavidHowdon’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
IMG 5328

A pair of terrapins from the local canal. Presumable having been dumped there when they stopped being 'cute' pets; they seem to have survived well (as they have in lots of UK waterways).

Species interactions

No interactions present.


anonymous spotter's picture


Not good news for the local amphibians, though.

the naturalist man's picture


These are red-eared terrapins, or to give them their proper American name, red-eared sliders. Also they are a sub species,Trachemys scripta elegans. There is also another species in Britain, the closely related red-bellied slider,Trachemys scripta scripta which has a red belly and no red flash behind the eye.

In Britain we split turtles into:

Turtles, aquatic
Terrapin: semi-aquatic
Tortoise: terrestrial

In America they are all turtles, which I have to admit is more correct as the British split is subjective and not based on genetics.
The European Pond Turtle,Emys orbicularis, is a native terrapin to Europe (not found in Britain), they are endangered but locally common. I have seen upwards of 30 basking beside streams in Andalucia.

Graham Banwell

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Masked Marvel's picture

Both subspecies here!

The one in front is a red eared terrapin Trachemys scripta elegans as can be seen by the red stripe behind the eye. The one behind is a yellow bellied slider Trachemys scripta scripta as can be seen by the yellow pattern in the head.