By offering them proper care, a turtle can be an ideal pet. There are many different types of turtles, and each species needs specific care to live. Are you thinking of choosing a domestic turtle? In this article we will talk about the four most common types of domestic turtles to take care of at home, as long as their needs can be respected.
What types of domestic turtles are there?
It is necessary to be able to differentiate between two classes of turtles: freshwater turtles and land turtles. The former need to live in places where they can find water, which could be fountains, fish tanks, ponds or aquariums. The latter, on the other hand, require a large terrarium to sleep and cover all their needs. In both cases, it will be important that they receive enough sunlight and have an adequate ambient temperature; Turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, so they need to spend many hours catching heat and hibernating in cold weather.
Here we tell you which turtles you can take care of at home as long as you can meet their needs and ensure a good quality of life:
- The forest turtle, or “Glyptemys insculpta”, comes from North America, and is recognized for its gray carapace and orange legs, belly and head with black spots. It has strong legs, and generally, males tend to be larger than females. Its size is around 23 centimeters, and its weight reaches a kilo when they reach adulthood. Forest turtles are omnivorous and therefore feed on plants, mushrooms or fruits, as well as carrion and other invertebrate animals. It is a completely terrestrial animal in the hot months, and somewhat more aquatic in the winter.
- The Russian tortoise is the most common type of domestic tortoise in houses. It has a dark-colored shell and some lighter, rounder spots. Its legs and head are also light in color, and have highly developed rear toenails. This type of turtle can measure up to approximately 22 centimeters. The Russian tortoise has a long life, being able to reach 40 years in the wild, and 100 in captivity. It is a turtle with a very good sight, capable of recognizing people and sniffing to get its food.
- In rivers with low flows, lakes or wells, it is sometimes common to find the painted turtle, another excellent candidate to breed at home. In Spain, it has even been considered an “invasive species”. Its shell, with a striking yellow and red striped design, can reach 25 centimeters. Their skin is normally deep green or dark green, with some orange or yellow lines. They are a long-lived species, capable of living for about 25 years. As for the environmental needs, they need a good pond and a pleasant temperature.
- The red-eared turtle is another of the best known in homes. They usually live in the water and it is famous for the two red stripes on each side of its head, which lives up to its name. It can be about 30 centimeters long, and females are generally larger than males. They live for around 40 years and need both moisture and direct sun contact to raise their body temperatures. It is also a turtle recognized for its good ability to swim and they usually hibernate during the winter at the bottom of the water.
If you plan to have the red-eared turtle at home, you should be very attentive to it, since it has a facility to contract infections. As for its food, it is also omnivorous, and eats plants, insects, vegetables or fruits.