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Nicaraguan Slider

Nicaraguan slider (Trachemys emolli)

The Nicaraguan slider is found mostly in, of course, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. They live in places like Lake Nicaragua, Lake Managua, and the lakes and streams that are connected to them.

They will nest up several times a season and lay up to 35 eggs at a time with an incubation period of around 100 days.

Nicaraguan Slider Turtle (trachemys emolli) with orange and olive colors
Nicaraguan Slider Turtle (trachemys emolli) with orange and olive colors

Nicaraguan slider facts

  • Scientfic name: Trachemys emolli
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Other Name: Peacock slider
  • Size: Average adult male carapace (shell) is about 10 inches (25 cm), and average adult female carapace is about 15 inches (38 cm)
  • Waters: The Nicaraguan sliders love their water to be around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 27 degrees Celsius).
  • Basking temperature: 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (30 to 35 Celsius).
  • Diet: The Nicaraguan slider loves to eat tadpoles, larvae and crustaceans
  • Book: Aquatic Turtles: Sliders, Cooters, Painted, and Map Turtles (Reptile Keeper’s Guide) by R. D. Barlett & Patricia Barlett

Locals say their meat and eggs are really delicious. Their shells are sold to tourists after being painted and farms of Nicaraguan sliders have been made to breed them because of their popularity in the pet industry.

What does the Nicaraguan slider’s shell look like?

Plastron of a Nicaraguan Slider Turtle (trachemys emolli)
Plastron of a Nicaraguan Slider Turtle (trachemys emolli)

Its carapace is oval-shaped and it has many circular shapes which have a dark spot on the middle decorating it. it has a color varying from olive green to dark brown, while its supratmeporal markings can be orange, pinkish or yellow.

Migration

Peacock sliders mostly live in isolation, males mostly migrate between feeding and mating places.

Some don’t migrate and a lot of them are raised in farms so they do not get a chance to migrate.

Habitat

They live in mostly Nicaragua and also Costa Rica. The farms of Nicaraguan sliders can differ but mostly don’t go far from their native location.

Senses

Like other water turtles and sea turtles, they can hear low to mid-level frequencies with their ears. Water turtles have a thick skin covering the opening of their eyes.

As for their sight, their sight is really good in water but it gets worse when their eyes are exposed to air. Their sense of smell is storng which helps them find feeding sites.

What do Nicaraguan sliders eat?

Nicaraguan sliders are born as more carnivore than a herbivore, but they become more herbivorous as they age.

Young (juvenile) turtles will eat tadpoles, snails, crayfish, shrimp, fish, insects (any kind of living insect) and insect larvae as their main diet, but they do not seem to like red wigglers (Eisenia fetida).

They are picky about their greens but they seem to like red leaf lettuce a lot. If you want to feed one commercial food, then there is no worry there as they will generally eat any brand.

Laying Eggs

Male and female Nicaraguan sliders reach maturity when they are 5-6 years old. The mating activities usually start in March to june.

Their courtship takes around 45 minutes but their mating only takes 10 minutes. Males can sometimes do the courtship dance before 5 years of age but are not yet able reproduce yet at that stage.

Clutch

One female Nicaraguan slider can lay up to 6 clutches in the same year, the clutches are spaced between 15-30 days apart each. The time between mating and laying eggs varies from several days to a few weeks.

What predators do they have?

Their popularity in the pet and the agriculture industry is one of the biggest threats to them due to humans harvesting their eggs.

There have been attempts at protecting their natural habitat and reducing agriculture activities but it hasn’t been enough to stop humans.

Other predators include fish, otters, frogs, snakes, raccoons, skunks and birds.

Where can I buy Nicaraguan sliders?

The best sites to buy turtles like Nicaraguan sliders are the following:
http://www.theturtlesource.com

Nicaraguan Slider Turtle Setup

The below video shows a 55 gallon setup of a Nicaraguan Slider turtle and has a Penn Plax Turtle Topper as a basking platform for the turtle to climb out onto to rest.

It also has a larger gravel substrate with a hang on back filter that is keeping water circulating. In my opinion canister filters are a better option, but you can read more about turtle filters here.

Conclusion

Like every turtle, Nicaraguan sliders have their pros and cons, with their pros being more of course. Slider turtles can make great pets, but there are many other cool turtle species out there.

Be sure to do your research before getting any pet turtle and if you are buying one, make sure it is from a captive bred breeder.

If you have one of these, have anything to add, or have a question, let us know in the comments below.

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