The Common Snapping Turtle

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Chelydra serpentina serpentina

ADULT SIZE

Average 12 to 15in, but up to 19in

DIET

Various fish, waterfowl, frogs, snakes turtles, as well as water plants, wild apples, and acorns.

TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)

Usually best around 75 to 87 degrees. Common snapper are extremely cold tolerant and are often seen moving under ice. Florida snapping turtles, however, need warmer temperatures and aren’t as cold tolerant as common snappers.

HABITAT

Snapping turtles live in almost every aquatic habitat in their range, including brackish and salt water. They prefer slow moving shallow water, but can be found in deep lakes and rivers.

DISTRIBUTION

In North America, snapping turtles live from Florida to Canada and west to Kansas. However, many individuals have been found far outside their native range, so don’t be surprised where you find them.

BEGINNER TURTLE

No

CAPTIVE HABITAT

Captive snappers need a large tank, tub or pond with water deep enough for them to stretch their necks up to breath. Also include a basking area, these turtles do occasionally bask. Include full spectrum lighting as well as a heat light. Another important item is a secure top to any cage; these turtles are excellent climbers!

CAPTIVE DIET

Captive snappers can be fed any cooked lean meat, preferably meats similar to their wild diets. Chicken, turkey, fish are all excellent staples. Good supplements include earthworms, pinkies or adult mice, and of course, Reptomin. Don’t rely to heavily on Reptomin. They will eat it every time, but as they get older not only can they consume a can of the stuff in one sitting, but they will become stubborn to eating anything else.

COMMUNITY HABITAT

Only hatchling snappers can be kept in a community habitat. But even that is not advisable. Snapping turtles need to be kept alone. Any snapper will eventually kill any turtle it’s size or smaller. You don’t want a trail and error on this one.

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