Spotted Turtles – Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata

Country of Origin: In the Northeastern United States, spotted turtles might be found in larger vernal pools, particularly those close to other wetland systems. Spotted turtles move about in search of feeding resources and are apt to feed upon salamander eggs in vernal pools. The spotted turtle is yet another species in decline in North America and should be protected whenever found. They are legally protected in a number of states. They range from southern Ontario and Maine southward along the Atlantic Coastal Plain to Northern Florida, and westward through Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, central Ohio, northern Indiana, and Michigan to Northeastern Illinios.

Introduction: The first turtle appeared on the Earth about 200 million years ago, long before the dinosaur [Jurassic period 130 Million years ago] was even a thought. Today, these popular and easily recognized creatures are found in almost every environment. There are 86 different genera in all, and there are 20 genera in North America.

Worth as a Pet: Spotted turtles are extremely adaptable to a variety of conditions except protracted chilling and dryness. They can be happy in moist peat, leaf litter, or sphagnum moss which is kept moist and [preferably] warm. They are just as ‘at home’ in water-turtle environments, swimming all the time with Red Ears and such. They do need a landfall for basking and sunning. For breeding, they will need a suitable landfall with soils of a variety of types so they can choose what they prefer. When eggs are discovered, they may be removed and incubated. Do not roll or invert the eggs. Usually, their small eggs go unnoticed and hatch the following year.

Morphology: This small (to 5 1/2″), black turtle has round yellow spots on its smooth carapace. Only the youngest turtles will have rings in their shells. The round yellow spots are transparent areas in the scutes, overlying patches of yellow pigment which may fade away with age. Some older individuals are completely spotless. The plastron [underside] is yellow to orange in color and has black blotches along the edge onto the bridge. Yellow spots are usually present on its head. Other skin color is gray to black, and occasional yellow spots occur on the neck and limbs. Males have tan chins; brown eyes; long, thick tails with the vent near the tip; and a slightly concave plastron. Females have yellow chins, orange eyes, and a flat or convex plastron.

Feeding and Behavior: Spots eat best in the water. They will take any form of insect except hard bodied beetles. They prefer prepared foods in captivity; they’re perfectly happy to take prepared Koi and Goldfish foods from the water’s surface, and do very well on this. They will eat worms, tadpoles, crickets, and PetsMart’s SuperWorms if thrown in the water. They have been observed to eat Wisteria plant in the abscence of regular feedings.

Housing: My turtles have been at home in warm bog settings; on moss, leaf litter and topsoil. They do well in humid environments even on AstroTurf. Over the summer, after egg laying is long past, they are moved to the swimming pool, where they swim and bask and put on weight eating koi pellets.

Lighting: If the hobbyist cannot provide natural sunlight unfiltered by glass [which removes 65% of valuable ltraviolet] then full spectrum lighting is paramount. Perhaps the best fluorescent tube at this writing is the CoralLife TriChromatic fluorescent available in a variety of lengths. Full spectrum lighting biologically activates certain vitamins in the skin (D&E) which catalyze/facilitate Calcium metabolism.

Notes: This is a protected species which is on the decline in their natural territory. Please ttry to obtain captive born specimens before accepting a wild caught one.

Enter your email address for a free PDF of this article including its images.

Enter your Email Address

My Favorite Amazon Recommendations

Items and content will not show in "Reader View" check your browser.

This is The LCD Screen Scope
We Did The Tutorial With. I did a twenty page tutorial (Here's the tutorial) with video, audio, images and even little parasite movies to show you how to use a microscope. 

This Filter is Good For BIG Dirty Tanks
I've been wrestling with water quality with the turtles. The sponges work GREAT, but in THOSE turtle systems where they eat MICE the poops are bulky. This filter can handle it. In "Tortu's" tank, it's got an 800 gph pump and it rocks. 

PraziPro for Flukes
They nailed it. Figured out the solubility and worked out the dosing. It works. 

Buy Some Good Koi?
No, this isn't really for the 'high end' collector y'all. But for someone who isn't near a decent garden center, here are "good-to-quite-good" Koi you will like at a very good price. I know these guys personally.

Best Food, Ever
It's made for (and I discovered it for) my Blood Parrots but the small size, intense color enhancers and excellent formulation make it superb young-Koi food. Oh, and it's AMAZING on color-cichlids like Flowerhorn and Blood Parrots. 

Pro Air 60 Aerator is a VERY high output air pump pushing my whole fish room (17+ drops), and I have one at home driving everything there, and I have one as a back up. 

Formalin Malachite (Not dilute)
There are formalin malachite preparations at 10%, 22% and 37%. There's economy in the concentrates. Hard to get Prime shipping because air transport is curtailed. This is a good value on 32 ounces. 

Topical For Koi and Pond Fish Ulcers
I like 7% tincture of iodine because it stains but it's hard to hurt anything with it. Used with a WOVEN gauze, this works well to clean and disinfect a wound. Only use ONCE. Do not 'repeatedly' scrub wounds. 

Confectioner's Glaze 
Is the way to bind a medication to fish food. Gone are the days of paste food and oil. The write up is done, it's RIGHT HERE.

Koi Health & Disease
Hopefully this link takes you to the newest edition by PRIME to get it to your house the fastest. 

I have over ten of these Titanium Heaters in my fish room and at home. They're a paradigm shift in aquarium heating. They're titanium and 400W for under $30! Whaaaaaaaaat?

CyroPro by Hikari is safe and easy for Anchor Worms and Fish Lice.

Whatever heaters you use, back yourself up with a temperature controller, it'll turn on, and off your heaters. If your heater seizes "on" at least the thermostat will stop a tragedy. 

LifeGuard by Tetra is a tablet version of a tame 'chloramine-t' or 'halamid' compound that's easy to get and good on bacterial infections, in baths. 

If you're making medicated feed for a larger group of fish, this will come in handy. Dosing is available in the site. 

For me, filtration-of-choice
For aquariums, even small Koi holding facilities or small ponds. These sponge filters are cheap, easy to clean, and they clear hazes very well when used with some Accuclear or similar.

Rubber sided, round, nettable tanks
Make great hospital or quarantine facilities. They SHOULD cost about $200-300 depending on size, but this, lower quality unit (while panned in some reviews) may be good. Don't overfill and make sure it's propped up.

1200 Watt heater, on a thermostat held securely above the waterline, works GREAT as a large tank heater. That's all I'll say because there's risk of electrocution and all that. But then, even in a bucket you could get killed. Sound like fun?
I have several of these ALLIED PRECISION stainless ones that are a couple years old. Working still. 

Potassium Permanganate 
500 grams could be a lifetime supply but it's 50% more than the 100g cost wise, for 500% more amount. Dosing is in the site and the book.

What Does Ajax Eat?
I looked for something well formulated, with meat as the first ingredient. Something UNDER $2/lb and something they could deliver for free. And this was it. He looks and feels great on it.