The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is named for the bright red patches on the sides of its head and the way it slides into the water when alarmed. A sociable species, red-eared sliders often climb atop one another while basking in the sun on a log or rock emerging from the water.


  • Where to see them: Southern and Midwestern United States
  • Length: 5 to 11 in
  • Weight: Up to 2 lbs
  • Habitat: Freshwater ponds and streams
  • Diet: Fish, mollusks, and insects
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk/near threatened)
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