Northern Red-bellied Cooter

Northern Red-bellied Cooter
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  • Item #: NRB


Scientific Name: Pseudemys rubriventris


Pseudemys rubriventris inhabits large deep waterbodies, such as rivers , lakes , impoundments, canals, tidally-influenced lower river areas and large wetlands as adults , while juveniles tend to occur in more sheltered, standing waters such as ponds , marshes, creeks and swamps .

  Identification:  The carapace is smooth, dark brown to black, flattened or with slightly concave vertebral scutes, and with a red vertical forked line on each pleural scute.  The plastron is reddish with darker smudges along the scutes.  The head, neck, arms and legs are usually black with yellow stripes.  A distinct arrow-shaped yellow stripe is formed on the top of the head by the junction of smaller yellow stripes leading from the snout and eyes.  The markings on the head and carapace tend to fade with age.  From a distance this species looks solid black.  Red-bellied cooters can be distinguished from river and pond cooters by the serrated pattern on their jaws. A deep notch in the front of the upper jaw is flanked on both sides by conspicuous cusps.

 Range:Pseudemys rubriventris primarily occurs in the Mid-Atlantic lowlands and foothill valleys of southern New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the West Virginia Panhandle, and northeastern North Carolina. Isolated populations occur at Plymouth, Carver and possibly Essex counties in Massachusetts

 Diet:  Adult Red-bellied Turtles feed almost exclusively on submerged aquatic vegetation and other wetland plants, while hatchlings and juveniles rely primarily on aquatic vertebrates for food.


 Northen Red Bellys make very good starter and community tank turtles. They are very active, and love to bask.  Diurnal by nature, these turtles wake with the warming sun to bask and forage. They can move with surprising speed in the water and on land. It is not unusual for them to wander from one body of fresh water to another, but many seem to develop fairly large home ranges, which they seldom or never leave. They sleep in the water, hidden under vegetation. While those that live in areas that are quite warm remain active all winter, river cooters in cooler climates can become dormant during the winter for up to two months, in the mud, underwater.  River cooters perfer to be well hidden under aquatic plants during the winter dormancy period or while sleeping each night.



Price $29.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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