Reptiles     |     Dogs     |     Cats     |     Small Pets     |     Birds     |     Horses

An Explanation of

Australian Red Bellied


Please Help us Stop

Animal Abuse with

a Gift of One Dollar

The Australian Red-bellied Short-neck Side-neck Turtle is
also sometimes called the Pink-bellied Sideneck Turtle and
the Northern Short-necked Turtle, and is scientifically
named Emydura subglobosa. It is a member of the Emydura
genus of side-neck aquatic turtles found only south of the
equator in Australia and its surrounding area.

The Red or Pink bellied Australian Short-necked Side-neck
Turtle is the most common Emydura seen in the pet trade, as
they are quite attractive, hardy, and fairly easy to breed
in captivity. They are also more easily acquired from the
wild, as, although Australia bans the export of their native
turtles, the Red-bellied species also lives in Papau New
Guinea, which does allow export.

The common names of Red-bellied and Pink-bellied come from
the plastron colors of the hatchlings and young turtles,
which begin as bright red or pink and fade with age down to
a pale orange-yellow. Young of this species also have bright
red-pink head markings that may fade with age. The carapace
is gray with no pattern, the dark gray head has a yellow
stripe from the eye back down the neck, and the underjaw has
a bright coral pattern. Australian Red-bellied Turtles are a
medium-sized species, growing to a maximum size of ten
inches (twenty-six cm).

Northern Short-necked Turtles are somewhat shy, but with
proper care can become quite tame and make a hardy,
enjoyable pet. Like all turtles, the best captive
environment would be a secure outdoor habitat, but they can
be kept indoors. Start with a minimum aquarium size of
thirty gallons, adding another ten to twenty gallons per
additional turtle. One third of the tank area should be a
stable land area with a smooth ramp for access.

Make the water depth at least equal to the length of the
turtle so it can turn over and escape drowning if it gets
upside down, and use an underwater heater and thermostat to
keep the water at seventy-five to eighty-three degrees
Fahrenheit (twenty-four to twenty-eight Celsius). Emydura
turtles are very susceptible to shell and skin infections if
their water is not keep very clean. Use a quality filter and
change the water very often. A separate feeding tank helps
greatly with maintaining good water quality, and small
amounts of aquarium salt added with water changes may help
prevent fungal and bacterial infections as well.

Another thing that is essential to prevent infections and
deformities is full-spectrum UVB light. This is especially
important for young, growing turtles. If you can't keep your
turtles outside, give them an hour or so of sunshine per
day. Be sure then can get into shade so they don't overheat,
and remember that sunshine through glass won't work, as the
necessary UV rays are blocked by glass. You should also
provide a good full-spectrum UVB light over the tank,
leaving it on for at least ten hours per day, to provide the
proper light when sunlight is not available. In addition,
place a basking light in one area so the turtle can warm and
dry itself at will.

Red and Pink Bellied Turtles are primarily carnivorous. They
will eat snails, crustaceans, insects and aquatic insect
larvae, earthworms, feeder fish, chopped lean beef and
chicken giblets, and aquatic plants such as water hyacinth
and duckweed, leafy vegetable greens such as escarole and
kale, grated squash, and fruits such as banana, apple, or
pear. Aquatic turtle sticks, low-fat dog or cat food and
trout chow also make good occasional additions to their
diet, and a cuttlebone in the tank will provide both calcium
and crunch.

The Emydura family reproduces quite well in captivity. The
breeding/nesting season lasts from mid-winter to summer in
North America, with the female climbing onto land during the
night and digging a quickly done nest in a secluded spot,
laying seven to fifteen eggs one inch long eggs, and
hurriedly and carelessly covering them. Incubation time
should be at eighty-one to eighty-three degrees F. (twenty-
seven to twenty-nine C.), and takes from forty-two to fifty

The Australian Ped-Bellied Short-neck Turtles are an
attractive and interesting turtle, and if you are an
experienced turtle keeper and are careful to give them what
they need, you should have your attractive, charming and
hardy pets for many years.

Custom Search

Site Map