Spot-Bellied Sideneck

 

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Phrynops hilarii

ADULT SIZE

Up to 16"

DIET

In the wild, they are carnivores, feeding upon small fish, insects and worms, although some rare individuals have been found to eat aquatic vegetation.

TEMPERATURE RANGE (F)

Air Temperature:  Low to mid 80's

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

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 70's

WATER pH LEVEL

6.0 - 6.2

HABITAT

Soft-bottomed oxbows, swamps, lakes and ponds with abundant aquatic vegetation.

DISTRIBUTION

Brazil, Buenos Aires through Uruguay and Argentina.

BEGINNER TURTLE

No

CAPTIVE HABITAT

These are baskering turtles, so a basking spot is required. UVB lighting is needed as well as a heat lamp over the basking spot. A submersible heater is recommended if the water temps fall below the recommendation. They are excellent swimmers and their captive habitat should have a water depth as deep as possible. Substrate should be anywhere from a sand to a fine-to-medium size gravel. Caves and standing decor are recommended, such as tall pieces of driftwood that can be affixed to the habitat floor.

RECOMMENDED ENCLOSURE

Recommended size for a single adult Phrynops hilarii would be a 180 gallon aquarium as a minimum (200 or larger preferred). This will provide adequate swimming area, as well as assisting the filtration in maintaining good water quality. For additional Phrynops hilarii, I would recommend adding 100 gallons of tank space per additional turtle at a minimum. The smaller dimensions for this species is because they are less active swimmers as other aquatic species.

Stock Tanks and Rubbermaid containers also work well. The same space recommendations remain the same.

CAPTIVE DIET

In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, fish, crickets, and assorted worms and insects. On rarity, these turtles will consume some plant matter and veggies.

COMMUNITY HABITAT

Spot-Bellied Sidenecks are great turtles for a community habitats, but only with other Phrynops species.

OTHER INFORMATION

Spot-Bellied Sideneck Turtles are great baskers and enjoy resting at the edge of rocks, fallen trees, and large, underwater vegetation.