Up to 3 – 4½”
In the wild, they
insects, craw dads, and other aquatic organisms.
75° - 83°
Basking Temperature: Mid 80's to low 90's
Mid to High 70's
in shallow stagnant waters such as swamps, ditches, and bayous. Rooted aquatic
vegetation is preferred. Often found on land in moist habitats.
Mississippi river valley north to western Kentucky. West to central Texas.
As with all mud turtles, Mississippi Muds
require ample access to haul out. They are frequent baskers, and will utilize an
extensive land area if provided. Tank decorations such as rocks and aquatic
plants are appreciated as these turtles like to prowl and explore their
A 20L aquaria is adequate for one
individual. Tank size needs to be larger if they are to be kept in a group, or
with other turtles. Larger river pebbles is a good substrate, as it gives them a
sense of security, and allows them to poke and prod around in their wanderings.
A good basking lamp is essential to their upkeep. Though more forgiving in
regards to water quality than some other turtles, strong filtration is advised,
as these turtles are somewhat messy in regards to their feeding habits.
Does well on high
quality turtle pellets such as
ReptoMin, as well as
earth worms, crawdads and feeder fish on occasion.
Mississippi mud turtles do well in a
community situation with basking turtles such as cooters and sliders provided
the size difference is not too great. Water depth preference can be problematic
when choosing tank mates in a community setting however. Great caution is
advised when housing this species with others of its kind, or with closely
related species. Aggression often occurs, and damage can be swift and
irreversible. This is most pronounced when maintaining males together, or
maintaining males with unreceptive females. Mississippi mud turtles seem to
prefer shallower water than some other types of mud turtles. This is especially
important when maintaining young specimens. Not being strong swimmers, they can
become disoriented and drown in water that is too deep. This is less of a
problem with adults, which are able to cope with water depth of 8" or greater
provided they have sufficient tank decorations to climb on, and easy access to
Mississippi mud turtles are less aquatic than musk turtles, and are poor
swimmers by comparison. They are often shy, and need an extensive land area to
feel comfortable and prosper. Water levels should be adjusted accordingly.