Eastern Mud Turtle
- Family: Kinosternidae
- Adult Size: Up to 4 inches
- Range: Eastern mud turtles are primarily a southeastern species, but occur as far north as Long Island and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In the Southeast, they are primarily found on the coastal plain and Piedmont to Alabama and Florida where they intergrade with other races of mud turtles.
- Habitat: Eastern mud turtles are primarily inhabitants of seasonal wetlands. They travel overland in search of small vernal pools and forested swamps, as well as marshes and swamps. When these wetlands occasionally dry, eastern mud turtles will aestivate by burrowing a few inches underground on land surrounding their wetland home.
- Captive Lifespan: More than 20 Years
- Care Level: Beginner
Eastern mud turtles are small turtles and will do well in captivity, provided they are given the opportunity to access land. Thus, this species is a good candidate for a display containing both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. They may spend a good amount of time buried under humus and leaves, and thus be out of sight. Eastern mud turtles may sometimes bite and can deliver a painful nip with their sharp, hooked beak.
Eastern mud turtles require shallow water and are not strong swimmers. They rarely bask, if ever.
Eastern mud turtles are carnivorous and will eat small insects, tadpoles and earthworms. They will readily accept chopped meat and fish.