TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
- Air Temperature: 70° - 75° F
Basking Temperature: 80° F
Water Temperature: 70° - 78° F
We recommend only experienced keepers or someone willing and
able to accommodate this medium to large species of turtle. Adult turtles will
need more space than the novice turtle keeper can likely provide. This active
es a lot of space & a varied,
Blanding’s turtles are primarily a carnivorous species. In the
wild their diet primarily consists of crustaceans (such as crayfish), insects
and their larvae. Other aquatic invertebrates such as leeches and snails are
readily accepted. Blanding’s are opportunistic
feeders and eagerly take prey such as small fish and amphibians. Carrion will be
eaten if the opportunity arises. Prey is captured with the aid of extremely long
necks. They can extend their throats and literally suck in passing fish, etc.
Their ‘vacuum-strike’ is similar to that of the Snapping turtle or Chicken
turtle where the body lunges forward with the head.
carnivorous, they have been reported to consume plant matter to some degree (Turtles
of the United States and Canada Include Page & if research is cited make a
Bibliography section & foot note this reference). Filamentous algae,
Duckweed and Seeds can be ingested. I speculate this may just be from accidental
ingestion while feeding on insect larvae or snails. They have been known to feed
sparsely on succulent vegetation such as water hyacinth and Lilly’s.
You can offer your turtle plant matter (Romaine,
Anachris, Hornwort) it is really up to the
individual turtle on what vegetation it will eat.
RECOMMENDED FEEDING SCHEDULE
Hatchling to sub adult turtles should be fed commercially
prepared foods (i.e.: ReptoMin/Mazuri pellets)
every other day, in moderation. I highly recommend sporadically offering small
amounts of live prey to stimulate the turtles’ feeding response and let the
turtle ‘hunt’ throughout its habitat.
Adults can be fed every two or three days. Commercial pellets
combined with live prey items (Minnows, Shiners, Snails, etc....variety is key).
Romaine lettuce may be offered daily to those who eat it.
Adults readily overeat; a close eye
on weights and growth patterns. A Blanding’s overfed
and growing excessively fast will exhibit a lightening of the new growth on the
shell. An adult turtle should be able to retract its head and forearms/rear legs
and tail into its shell and partially close the plastron/carapace with no
problems. An overfed or obese individual will only be able to do one half at a
time i.e. if it retracts its head and its rear legs hang out or you touch the
rear legs and the turtle compensates by hanging out its head or front legs, Then
it may be time to cut back on its food, Thus the importance of maintaining
growth and weight data on your turtle.
If you feed crayfish it recommended they be frozen to kill any
Note: This is a description of
their preferred wild habitat, but natural history informs captive husbandry, &
since they are specific in their requirements, captive habitat design draws on
turtles prefer slow moving waters with little to no current present. Relatively
any shallow soft bottomed body of water with heavy aquatic vegetation will be
utilized by this species. They inhabit Marshes, Bogs, Vernal pools, Beaver
ponds/streams and Shallow lakes. They are a semi terrestrial species, often
found on land as they move throughout their range. In early spring
Blanding’s can be found in seasonal wetlands where
they look for mates and food. As conditions dry up throughout the summer they
can and will travel considerable distance looking for acceptable habitat. Water
temps seem to be a big factor in where they choose to reside. Any shallow marsh,
if water temps exceed 80 F, will prompt the turtle to seek cooler temperatures,
i.e. deeper pools or heavily vegetated/shaded ponds.
Juveniles to adults will need housing with much more space
than Hatchlings. For a 6 inch turtle, I recommend at least a 75 gallon tank with
about a foot of water and a lot of structure for the turtle to climb through.
Logs, aquatic plants and a basking spot or small land area for the turtle to
bask on would be highly recommended. Adults can be housed in aquariums
(135 to 175 for a single turtle) but at the size this species can reach, a stock
tank of 200 gallons or more would be better suited for larger specimens. At
best, if you’re able to provide them with an outdoor enclosure they will thrive
as long as water temps are cool. Minimum size for an outdoor enclosure would be
6x8 with at least 1/3 land area. (outdoor enclosure climates are harder to
‘micromanage;’ space allows more security against over-heating, flooding, etc…).
The depth of the water depends on the size of the turtle.
Hatchlings should be kept in water no more than 2 inches deep (The turtle should
be able to easily reach the surface without effort). Juveniles, sub adults and
adults can tolerate deeper conditions as long as there is structure for them to
rest on, or a sloping gradient allowing easy access to shallower waters. No
matter what water depth is provided it is important to heavily plant the tank or
enclosure (live or plastic plants, and driftwood).
turtles are typically non-aggressive turtles and can cohabit with a variety of
other species. Take care at feeding time to prevent fights over food. Male
Blanding’s turtles will fight if not provided enough
space or sight breaks to escape from one another. Same goes for male/female
a male will hound a female if she is not able to escape his advances.