Red-eared Slider
Trachemys scripta

Description:  This is a relatively large (up to 12" shell) greenish turtle with vertical yellowish bars on the shell and a distinctive red stripe behind each eye.  There are large spots on each of the ventral plates.  Juveniles and females are most colorful - many adult males tend to become plain grayish- or blackish-green turtles without any distinctive markings.

Habitat:  Found in all aquatic environments, from ponds to streams to rivers.  May wander far from water, especially in the spring or when ponds dry up.  We have found these turtles on top of the hills west of Camp Wood.

Distribution:  May be found anywhere throughout the Canyon.

Abundance:  This turtle is by far the most abundant turtle in the Canyon, and throughout the state of Texas.

Conservation Status:  Even though this turtle makes up a large portion of the Asian food turtle trade, its extreme abundance makes it largely secure.  Furthermore, there are also farm raised, much like catfish.  Finally, these turtles are widely sold as pets, and have been introduced throughout the world in far flung locales such as Africa and Australia.

Comments:  extremely abundant - if you see a water turtle, its most likely one of these.