Yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta) are freshwater creatures that live in the United States. These turtles are seen in southeastern areas of the country, in states such as Alabama and Virginia. Although many people keep yellow-bellied sliders as pets, they're not quite as popular as red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), their near kin.
If you plan on bringing one of these family Emydidae creatures into your residence as a pet, it's imperative for you to be aware of their typical mature sizes beforehand. The upper shells of adult male yellow-bellied sliders usually attain lengths of roughly 8 inches. As sexually dimorphic animals, the females are significantly bigger than the males. Adult female yellow-bellied sliders' upper shells typically grow to close to 11 inches long.
Tiny Right After Birth
If you ever see a wee yellow-bellied slider hatchling, don't assume the little one will stay that size forever, because she definitely won't. Newborns are often barely larger than coins. Since youngster yellow-bellied sliders are so miniscule, they are prone to predation out in the wild. They smartly try to remain under the radar, however, by spending time amidst ample weeds. The weeds often obscure them from the eyes of other hungry animals.
Growth for some animals is swift. Many house cats, for example, attain their full size at a year old. That simply isn't so for yellow-bellied sliders, or slider turtles in general. Development in these reptiles is a sluggish and gradual process. Many of them don't arrive at physical maturity until they're between 8 and 9 years in age. Once your yellow-bellied slider is around that age, she probably won't grow much more. Females usually take longer than the males to become mature.
Identifying Yellow-Bellied Sliders
Yellow-bellied sliders in nature inhabit a broad assortment of environments. Many of them live in marshes, sluggish rivers, ponds, lakes and inlets. They're drawn to settings that feature not only ample places to bask such as logs, but also plentiful water plants. If you ever see a turtle who fits the general size description of yellow-bellied sliders, you might notice that his bottom shell, as the name expresses, is yellow. Although their bottom shells are yellow, they're also adorned with dark specks. The top shells of yellow-bellied sliders are usually brown or yellowish-green, but with lighter yellow components. They also have sizable yellow spots in the back of their eyes. The spots are usually more noticeable in female and youthful specimens, however.
- Wildlife of Virginia and Maryland and Washington D.C.; Charles Fergus
- United States Geological Survey: Yellow-bellied Slider
- World Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Common Slider
- Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries: Yellow-bellied Slider
- Savannah River Ecology Laboratory: Yellow-bellied Slider Turtle
- A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians; Roger Conant and Joseph T. Collins
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images