POND SLIDER
Trachemys scripta
(Schoepff 1792)


tră-kē-ēz — scrīp-tă




Three Pond Sliders (right and in the back), and a River Cooter (front left) basking on a log in Shoal Creek, Cherokee County. © Jenn Rader.
A Pond Slider, basking on a Spiny Softshell, basking on a log in Shoal Creek, Cherokee County. © Jenn Rader.
Adult Pond Slider from Sedgwick County.  © Mike Everhart?.
Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.

Description:
Carapace is green to almost black with a pattern of yellow and dark lines. The rear edge of the carapace is jagged. The plastron is yellow with dark spots. A broad red stripe is present behind each eye. Adults, particularly males, may darken with age, turning almost completely black.
Adults normally 125-203 mm (5-8 inches) in carapace length; largest specimen from Kansas: female (KU 189281) from Douglas County with a carapace length of 290 mm (11 3/8 inches) and a weight of 4.2 kilograms (9 pounds, 3 ounces), collected by Rob Ladner on 23 June 1981; maximum carapace length throughout range: 11 3/8 inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Distribution:
The Slider is a semi-aquatic turtle found throughout much of Kansas (in all major river drainages). It is absent from the northwestern portion of the state and along its northern and western borders (except for the single record from Wallace County). The range (and numbers) of this species may be increasing due to construction of new impoundments. Red dots indicate records backed by voucher specimens or images. A specimen exists for Greenwood County (USNM 55543) but is only given to county, and therefore cannot be mapped precisely. The records mapped by Collins (1993) from Chase and Marion counties, are unknown and not mapped.
Two specimens (KU 3258-9) from Wallace County (summer 1911) are given to county only. It was recently rediscovered (Collins, 2007)on Willow Creek lending credibility to those earlier records.

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 543 Total Records 
  • 261 Museum Vouchers 
  • 282 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (11); Anderson (1); Atchison (1); Barber (23); Barton (3); Bourbon (11); Butler (11); Chase (1); Chautauqua (11); Cherokee (22); Clark (16); Coffey (3); Comanche (22); Cowley (18); Crawford (16); Dickinson (1); Doniphan (9); Douglas (6); Elk (7); Ellis (8); Ellsworth (1); Finney (11); Ford (2); Franklin (6); Geary (2); Grant (1); Gray (1); Greenwood (6); Harper (13); Harvey (5); Hodgeman (7); Jefferson (2); Johnson (2); Kingman (8); Kiowa (18); Labette (23); Lincoln (6); Linn (11); Lyon (2); Marion (1); McPherson (2); Meade (18); Miami (17); Mitchell (2); Montgomery (30); Morris (1); Neosho (16); Ness (2); Osage (2); Osborne (5); Ottawa (4); Pawnee (1); Pottawatomie (1); Pratt (8); Reno (10); Rice (6); Riley (1); Russell (5); Saline (5); Sedgwick (11); Seward (21); Shawnee (1); Stafford (6); Sumner (16); Trego (2); Unknown (4); Wallace (3); Wilson (9); Woodson (2); Wyandotte (3);

Natural History:


Occurrence Activity:
Remarks:
Pond Sliders occur in almost every type of permanent water in the state. They can also make significant overland movements between water bodies. They are omnivorous and opportunistic, consuming a wide variety of plant and animal matter. Females may nest throughout the summer months, laying up to 22 eggs. Young turtles hatch in 60-90 days.

Bibliography:
1882 Yarrow, Henry C. Check list of North American Reptilia and Batrachia with catalogue of specimens in U. S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (24):1-249
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Recent additions to the list of Kansas reptiles and batrachians, with further notes on species previously reported. Bulletin of the Washburn College Laboratory of Natural History 1(3):100-103
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Second contribution to the herpetology of Kansas, with observations on the Kansas fauna. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 9():136-140
1907 Ditmars, Raymond L. The Reptile Book; A comprehensive, Popularised Work on the Structure and Habits of the Turtles, Tortoises, Crocodilians, Lizards and Snakes which Inhabit the United States and Northern Mexico. Doubleday, Pae, and Company, New York. 472pp.
1925 Linsdale, Jean M. Land Vertebrates of a Limited Area in Eastern Kansas. Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 312pp.
1932 Gloyd, Howard K. The herpetological fauna of the Pigeon Lake Region, Miami County, Kansas. Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 15():389-408
1933 Taylor, Edward H. Observations on the courtship of turtles. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 21(6):269-271
1935 Burt, Charles E. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16(3):311-366
1935 Burt, Charles E. and William L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1956 Clarke, Robert F. Identification of Kansas turtles. Kansas School Naturalist 2(4):1-3
1956 Clarke, Robert F. Turtles in Kansas. Kansas School Naturalist 2(4):1-15
1962 Gish, Charles D. The Herpetofauna of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 34pp.
1976 Caldwell, Janalee P. and Gregory. Glass. Vertebrates of the Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Pages 62-76 in Preliminary inventory of the biota of Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Report No. 5. State Biological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence. pp.
1979 Rundquist, Eric M. Herps observed or collected during the first three months of 1979. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (30):42893
1992 Edds, David R. Population status and incidence of anatomical abnormalities in semiaquatic turtles of the Walnut and lower Arkansas river basins. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 58pp.
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
2000 Van Doren, Mark D. and Curtis J. Schmidt. A herpetological survey of the Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):8-11
2002 Riedle, J. Daren and A. Hynek. Amphibian and reptile inventory of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Labette County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):18-20
2002 Schmidt, Curtis J. and Travis W. Taggart. Geographic distribution: Trachemys scripta. Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):11
2004 Delisle, Jennifer M. and William H. Busby Biological inventory for vertebrates at Fort Larned National Historic Site of the southern plains network. Natural Heritage Inventory, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 61pp.
2005 Gubanyi, James E. Egglaying and hatching in a captive Slider (Trachemys scripta) from Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (13):12
2006 Seidel, Michael E. and Carl H. Ernst. Trachemys scripta. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (831):1-94
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Addendum report to biological inventory of the sandsage prairie near Holcomb, Kansas. Sunflower Electric Cooperative, Hays, Kansas. 31pp.
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2007 Taggart, Travis W. A biological inventory of the Sunflower Electric Site near Holcomb, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 23():11-16
2010 Miller, Larry L. 2010 Investigation of the Checkered Garter Snake in Kansas with notes on other Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles encountered. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 31pp.
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2012 Singleton, Jennifer. Selected aspects of the biology of semi-aquatic turtles in east-central Kansas: Winter thermal profiles and escape behavior. Thesis. Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. 58pp.
Account Last Updated:
10/10/2018 9:11:13 AM


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