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.
An old adult male Pond Slider. Image © James N. Stuart.
Adult Pond Slider from Sedgwick County.  © Mike Everhart?.
Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.

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. In some older specimens, the carapace may be tan to yellowish while the margins of the scutes are 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).

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 impoundments that supply permanent sources of water.
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. More recently (Collins, 2007), it was rediscovered 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 (21); 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 (24); 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:
Pond Sliders 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.

Occurrence Activity:
White dates indicate there is at least a single recorded occurrence on that date. The darker blue a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Pond Sliders occur in almost every type of permanent water in the state. They can also make significant overland movements between water bodies.

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.
1927 Linsdale, Jean M. Amphibians and reptiles of Doniphan County, Kansas. Copeia 1927(164):75-81
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
1941 Mansueti, R. A descriptive catalogue of the amphibians and reptiles found in and around Baltimore City, Maryland, within a radius of twenty miles. Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Maryland 7():1-53
1953 Schmidt, Karl P. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th Edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 280pp.
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
1980 Clarke, Robert F. Herptiles and fishes of the western Arkansas River in Kansas. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 55pp.
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1988. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):15-18
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.
2000 Taggart, Travis W. KHS spring field trip sets record for attendance. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):5-5
2000 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2000 fall field trip. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (122):6-8
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
2001 Taggart, Travis W. The KHS 2001 spring field trip: A rainy rendezvous. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):12-14
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.
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS spring field trip to Kiowa County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (18):2-5
2007 Taggart, Travis W. A biological inventory of the Sunflower Electric Site near Holcomb, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 23():11-16
2007 Teller, J. J. Record Slider from Pottawatomie County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (22):10
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.
2015 Seim, Jeffery Population Structure and Habitat Association of Aquatic Testudines in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 66pp.
Account Last Updated:
8/8/2019 1:27:42 AM

Travis W. Taggart © 2020 — Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University