Trachemys scripta - (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792)
Slider
Other English Common Names: Pond Slider, slider
Synonym(s): Chrysemys scripta ;Pseudemys scripta ;Testudo scripta Schoepff, 1792
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Trachemys scripta (Schoepff, 1792) (TSN 173819)
French Common Names: tortue oreille rouges
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104105
Element Code: ARAAD09010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Turtles
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Chelonia Cryptodeira Emydidae Trachemys
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: King, F. W., and R. L. Burke, editors. 1989. Crocodilian, tuatara, and turtle species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, D.C. 216 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B89KIN01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Trachemys scripta
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the genus Pseudemys, and sometimes has been placed in the genus Chrysemys. Seidel (2002) reviewed the extant species and subspecies of Trachemys and concluded that 15 species should be recognized. See also Ward (1984) and Seidel and Smith (1986).

Trachemys scripta formerly included T. gaigeae and T. gaigeae hartwegi as subspecies.

See Jackson (1988) for review of fossil record in relation to taxonomic status of Trachemys.

MtDNA data reveal two lineages with a strong geographic orientation generally consistent with decribed subspecies ranges, though two individuals with the western haplotype A were observed in the Atlantic coastal plain (Walker and Avise 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Aug2005
Global Status Last Changed: 21Oct1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (02Feb2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (S5), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (S5), Georgia (S5), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (S5), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (SNA), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), Nevada (SNA), New Jersey (SNR), New Mexico (S4), New York (SNA), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S5), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S4), Virginia (S4), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies callirostris of Colombia and Venezuela is listed by USFWS as Endangered.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The range extends from Michigan to Argentina, and from the Atlantic coast to New Mexico; it also includes southern Baja California (at least formerly). The species has been introduced and is established in many areas outside the native range, including Florida (Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Ashton and Ashton 1991; Hutchison, 1992, Herpetol. Rev. 23:74-75; Townsend et al., 2002, Herpetol. Rev. 33:75; Ehret and Parker, 2005, Hepretol. Rev. 36:78), Guam (McCoid, 1992, Herpetol. Rev. 23:26), New York (Klemens 1993), and New Mexico (Stuart, 1995, Herpetological Review 26:107). It has been found in California (e.g., Stitt et al., 2004, Herpetol. Rev. 35:187) and Hawaii (McKeown 1996), but establishment is uncertain.

Number of Occurrences: > 300

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) The range extends from Michigan to Argentina, and from the Atlantic coast to New Mexico; it also includes southern Baja California (at least formerly). The species has been introduced and is established in many areas outside the native range, including Florida (Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Ashton and Ashton 1991; Hutchison, 1992, Herpetol. Rev. 23:74-75; Townsend et al., 2002, Herpetol. Rev. 33:75; Ehret and Parker, 2005, Hepretol. Rev. 36:78), Guam (McCoid, 1992, Herpetol. Rev. 23:26), New York (Klemens 1993), and New Mexico (Stuart, 1995, Herpetological Review 26:107). It has been found in California (e.g., Stitt et al., 2004, Herpetol. Rev. 35:187) and Hawaii (McKeown 1996), but establishment is uncertain.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZexotic, DC, DEexotic, FL, GA, IA, IDexotic, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MAexotic, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NVexotic, NYexotic, OH, OK, ORexotic, PAexotic, SC, TN, TX, VA, WAexotic, WV
Canada BCexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe 2008


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Des Moines (19057)*, Lee (19111), Louisa (19115), Muscatine (19139)
NC Madison (37115)
NM Bernalillo (35001), Chaves (35005), Grant (35017), Sierra (35051), Socorro (35053)
OH Clermont (39025), Hamilton (39061), Licking (39089)*, Pickaway (39129), Ross (39141)*, Warren (39165)
OK Adair (40001), Atoka (40005), Ellis (40045), Muskogee (40101)
TX Collin (48085), Fannin (48147), Harrison (48203), Lamar (48277), Marion (48315), Morris (48343), Newton (48351), Red River (48387), Shelby (48419), Titus (48449), Upshur (48459), Wood (48499)
VA Scott (51169), Smyth (51173), Washington (51191)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Licking (05040006)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Lower Great Miami (05080002)+, Little Miami (05090202)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+
06 North Fork Holston (06010101)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+
07 Copperas-Duck (07080101)+, Flint-Henderson (07080104)+, Lower Cedar (07080206)+*, Lower Des Moines (07100009)+*, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+*
11 Lower Canadian-Deer (11090201)+, Dirty-Greenleaf (11110102)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Bois D'arc-Island (11140101)+, Muddy Boggy (11140103)+, Pecan-Waterhole (11140106)+, White Oak Bayou (11140303)+, Caddo Lake (11140306)+
12 Middle Sabine (12010002)+, Lake Fork (12010003)+, Toledo Bend Reservoir (12010004)+, Lower Sabine (12010005)+, East Fork Trinity (12030106)+
13 Rio Grande-Albuquerque (13020203)+, Elephant Butte Reservoir (13020211)+, Arroyo Del Macho (13060005)+, Upper Pecos-Long Arroyo (13060007)+
15 Upper Gila-Mangas (15040002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: In the U.S., eggs are laid from mid-March to August, with the earliest nesting occurring in the southern states. Nests from January to March near Tortuguero, Costa Rica (Moll 1994). In South Carolina, mean clutch size was 6.3 (range 1-6); nesting females produced an average of 1.1 clutches/year (usually 1 clutch, rarely as many as 3); successive clutches generally were separated by an interval of about 1 month; females matured at age 7 years (Frazer et al. 1990). In Illinois, females produced an estimated 2-3 clutches per year, and most adult females evidently nested in successive years (Tucker 2001). In the U.S., eggs hatch in summer or early fall; hatchlings may commonly overwinter in nest (Jackson 1994). In Costa Rica, hatchlings from sea beach nests emerged by May and June (Moll 1994). In South Carolina, the mean proportion of adult females nesting in any given year was 0.37 (Frazer et al. 1990). See Tucker et al. (1995, Herpetologica 51:354-358) for information on annual variation in individual growth rates.
Ecology Comments: Most of 1006 turtles marked and released in Illinois were recaptured within 0.8 km of release point (see Ernst and Barbour 1972). Movements exceeding 2 km are known. In South Carolina, a metapopulation encompassed habitats 3.5 km from a core area (10-ha wetland) (Burke et al. 1995).

Some populations exhibit significantly faster growth rate and larger adult body size than others.

Nest survivorship in Panama was 0.03. In South Carolina, annual first-year survivorship (from egg laying) averaged 0.11 (range 0.01-0.28) over 5 years; annual survivorship was 0.84 for adult males, 0.77 for adult females (Frazer et al. 1990).

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Rarely may migrate 350 m or more between water and nest site (see Ernst and Barbour 1972). Female exhibit strong fidelity to previously used nesting area (Tucker 2001).
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Usually in quiet water with abundant aquatic vegetation, soft bottom, and basking sites. Hibernates underwater or in protected places near waterline (Ernst and Barbour 1972). More tolerant of pollution than are most turtles. Eggs are laid in nests dug in soft damp soil in open areas. Nesting area may be on nearest suitable site or far from water (usually the former) (Ernst and Barbour 1972). In Costa Rica, some females briefly enter the sea and nest on Caribbean Sea beaches (upper beach berm usually under cocoplum vegetation; hatchlings probably do not enter the sea (Moll 1994).
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Adults feed opportunistically on various plants and animals. Juveniles eat mainly small aquatic animals. In Louisiana, plant material became more frequent in diet with increasing turtle size (Hart 1983).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Primarily diurnal. Generally inactive in winter in north but mild weather may stimulate emergence (Ernst and Barbour 1972).
Length: 29 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: In the early 1990s, hundreds of thousands were being exported annually to Europe to supply the pet trade.
Management Summary
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Species Impacts: Introduced populations in Europe may be having a negative impact on populations of native turtle species (Simons, 1994, New York Times, 5 July, p. C4).
Monitoring Requirements: Identification of metapopulations may require "spatially extensive sampling, high marking effort, and studies of sufficient duration to allow time for detection of movements to distant populations" (Burke et al. 1995).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Mapping Guidance: Occurrences should include known nesting areas and documented upland travel corridors, if any.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that turtles rarely if ever cross successfully; untraversable topography (e.g., cliff); urbanized area lacking aquatic or wetland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance along riverine corridors: 20 stream km. Separation distance for mixture or mosaic of upland and aquatic/wetland habitat: 10 km. Separation distance for upland habitat: 3 km.
Separation Justification: The best information providing a basis for separation distance is from South Carolina, where a long-term study with high marking effort determined that a metapopulation encompassed several distinct aquatic/wetland habitats up to at least 3.5 km from a core area (10-ha wetland) (Burke et al. 1995). The aquatic habitats were separated by up to a few kilometers of upland habitat. Movements from the core area to distant wetlands probably were related to drought conditions that forced the entire population in the core crea to emigrate. Gibbons (1986) recorded long-distance movements of up to 4.1-5.0 km in the same area of South Carolina. The separation distance of 10 km for wetland/upland mixtures or mosaics is approximately 2-3 times the maximum distance between capture locations for individual turtles in these studies. A larger distance is used for riverine corridors that likely facilitate longer movements.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Date: 30Jan2002
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Aug2005
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Feb2002
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
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