TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
- Air Temperature: Low to mid 80's
High 80's to low 90's
platform should be large enough to allow a range of temp.s).
Water Temperature: Low to mid 70's
for adults. Around 80º for hatchlings.
Male Mississippi Maps are decent beginner turtles. They may be among the
more skittish turtles to keep (individuals vary; map turtles as a class have a
reputation for being skittish) but overall care is the same as sliders & painted
turtles (albeit high water quality may be even more important with some map
species). Females do get larger, up to 10", and can be a strain on housing, so
consider an intermediate turtle
Mississippi Map turtles are omnivores (but as adults more carnivorous than
sliders). They’re easily over-fed protein resulting in an unhealthy growth rate
and pyramiding of the shell. They readily eat live foods such as crickets, earth
worms, and meal worms, & commercial dry foods such as Mazuri and ReptoMin. They
will also eat some vegetables such as Romaine lettuce.
RECOMMENDED FEEDING SCHEDULE
Hatchlings require once daily feeding up to about 6 months. At this age,
a diet of pellets and live foods is recommended. Feed just enough to keep them
from being hungry, but don’t let them gorge themselves. After 6 months or so cut
back on the feedings to every other day and add vegetation into the diet. Adjust
amount of food at feeds accordingly with growth rate. Romaine lettuce may be
offered ‘all you can eat’ at any age (romaine is mostly water, & not apt to
overload them on protein).
They are avid swimmers and baskers. They need a good basking area where they can
get totally out of the water and get completely dry (including the plastron; the
basking platform must dry out, not remain wet/damp). This area will not only
need a heat source, but ideally should have a source of UVB (UV-B
lighting is strongly recommended if you aren’t confident dietary Vitamin D3 is
sufficient, particularly for growing hatchings).
This is accomplished with lighting (usually either a UV-B fluorescent such as a
ReptiSun 5.0 for UV-B & a separate basking lamp for heat; some UV-B mercury
vapor bulbs are an option). Being avid swimmers they need plenty of swimming
room, both vertical and horizontal. Map turtles as a class have a reputation for
being more prone to health problems if high water quality isn’t maintained; it’s
unclear how much of an issue this is for Mississippi maps.
single adult male would do fine in a 75-90 gallon enclosure, but a 10 inch
female will need at least a 125 gallon enclosure to insure adequate space. A
basking area can be made of driftwood, smooth or flat rocks, or anything else
non abrasive, non toxic, and capable of supporting the weight of the turtle. The
basking area should be large enough for the turtle to get the entire body out of
the water and dry.
is recommended to maintain high water quality. A submersible heater to ensure
water temp.s don’t drop far is recommended, preferably with a heater guard to
reduce burn risk. Substrate isn’t critical but a complex landscape to explore
could include river rock (but take care the turtle isn’t apt to strike hard
objects diving off the basking platform).
add additional Mississippi (or similar-sized) maps to a habitat we recommend you
increase the size of the tank accordingly by half (i.e.; 1 male = 75 gallons, 2
males = 110 gallons, etc). Stock tanks also make great alternatives to glass and
acrylic aquariums. If your map is one of the skittish ones, consider placing the
enclosure to a less traveled area (i.e.: spare bedroom) to reduce stress.
Map turtles are excellent swimmers and will do better in deeper waters. Even as
hatchlings they prefer (relatively) deeper setups, albeit with plenty of cover
Mississippi map turtles are usually good community turtles. Being of a more
timid nature they seldom show aggression. As with other turtle species,
aggression may occur among males competing over a female to mate, & sexual
harassment of females by males by become troublesome enough to warrant