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Florida Pond Cooter

Pseudemys floridana

  • Family: Emydidae
  • Adult Size: Females attain carapace length of 13 inches, while males are just slightly smaller.
  • Range: Florida cooters are found in the coastal plain region of the southeastern United States from Virginia to Alabama.
  • Habitat: Pond cooters are denizens of big cypress swamps, flooded river backwaters, and relatively permanent, large wetlands, such as Carolina bays. They will travel overland in search of water. They differ from their close cousin, the river cooter, in that they rarely live in fast moving water.
  • Captive Lifespan: More than 20 Years
  • Dangerous:
  • Care Level: Intermediate

Overview

Florida cooters make attractive additions to aquariums as juveniles, but will reach fairly large size eventually. Pond cooters are good swimmers and can be kept in deep water aquariums; however they are avid baskers and like painted turtles, require a basking site where they can completely extract themselves from the water. Filtration of aquarium water is suggested.

Pond cooters are primarily herbivorous, although juveniles will eat some insects and take chopped meat. Florida cooters will consume most live aquatic vegetation, such as elodea and pondweed, so keep that in mind when considering the addition of a pond cooter to an aquarium setup. In captivity, adult pond cooters seem quite fond of tortoise chow.

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