Red-eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans

Habitat: Ponds, lakes, and rivers

These turtles, native to the central U.S., are the most common turtle in the pet trade. Released and escaped pets have resulted in introductions of this species to over 50 countries. They survive in the L.A. area only because people have built places with permanent fresh water such as reservoirs and urban ponds. These turtles grow larger and lay more eggs than our native Western Pond Turtle. Museum scientists are studying whether Red-eared Sliders are competing with our native turtle.