South American Wood Turtle

 

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Rhinoclemmys punctularia

ADULT SIZE

Male   8" - 10"            Female   9" - 11"

DIET

In the wild, they feed upon snails, insects, fish, carrion, worms and a wide variety of plants.

TEMPERATURE RANGE (F)

Air Temperature:  Low to Mid 80's

Basking Temperature:  High 80's to Low 90's

Water Temperature:  Mid 70's

 

WATER pH LEVEL

5.2 - 6.0

HABITAT

Ponds, marshes, coastal swamps, large rivers in savannahs and in deep forests.

DISTRIBUTION

Columbia, Venezuela, Trinidad Island to Guianas and Brazil.

BEGINNER TURTLE

Yes

CAPTIVE HABITAT

A large dry, land area needs to be provided for them to scamper about as well as a substantial amount of shallow swimming room. UVB lighting and a heat lamp over the land area is required. A submersible heater is also recommended. Their swimming area needs to be relatively shallow, being deep enough to cover the top of the shell, plus about 1 inch. Filtration is a must for their water as they tend to pass waste more frequently in the water.

RECOMMENDED ENCLOSURE

Recommended size for a single adult Rhinoclemmys punctularia would be a 75 gallon aquarium as a minimum (90 or larger preferred). This will provide adequate walking area as well as swimming area, in addition to assisting the filtration in maintaining good water quality. For additional Rhinoclemmys punctularia, I would recommend adding 50 gallons of tank space per additional turtle at a minimum, opting for the long versions of the aquarium as opposed to the high or "show" models.

Stock Tanks and Rubbermaid containers work extremely well for this species of turtle. The same space recommendations remain roughly the same, however, they require more space for walking, so height is not a requirement, permitting they can not escape.

CAPTIVE DIET

In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, fish, vegetables, aquatic plants, crickets and assorted worms and insects. Unlike other semi-aquatics, Rhinoclemmys punctularia can be fed either on land or in the water.

COMMUNITY HABITAT

Rhinoclemmys punctularia make great turtles for community set-ups, as long as the other turtles in the community are both from the same region, but also have the same habitat requirements.

OTHER INFORMATION

SA Wood turtles are extremely fond of basking. They have great personalities and have a great display of colors on their faces.