Found this guy at a local park (in Arizona, so non-native species, right?). I don’t know turtle species super well, but the spotty legs and head made me think diamondback terrapin.
Yup, definite Diamondback.
Okay cool! I would love to be able to keep him. Do you know if they could be housed outdoors here in Arizona or is it simply too hot in the summer? I was thinking giant horse trough style pond type thing?
I’m not familiar with their care other than that they live in brackish water in the wild, so they may need it in captivity.
Yeah that’s what I’ve read. Apparently captive bred ones that have been raised in freshwater can do fine, but wild caught need brackish. Obviously I have no idea of this guy’s origin, so I would probably need to do brackish if I was going to set him up.
Make sure to check your local laws. Those are not legal to own in certain states.
They are legal to own in Arizona from what I have read. They aren’t native so they aren’t protected. Someone must have had it as a pet and released it. Which is illegal in Arizona so taking it out of the wild is better.
Thank you, yes, I did double check our state laws and it seems like only native species are an issue. (Plus I see these guys at local expos all the time, so I figured they were probably okay to own.)
Oh my gosh! I love those! I couldn’t actually choose a favorite turtle, but if I did, diamondback terrapins would certainly make it to nominee status. They are native in the estuaries here on the Gulf Coast. How big is this one?
I think he’s full size, or nearly. He’s about 6 inches (shell length). And he does appear to be male. I’ve decided I am going to try keeping him. We’ve started the process of setting up a 110 gallon tank for him. In the meantime, I’ve been taking him out on the yard for a bit every day to make sure he’s getting some uvb and heat from the sun. He’s actually more friendly than my red eared slider that I had when I was a kid! Obviously doesn’t like being picked up, but he hasn’t attempted to bite at all.
I’m jealous, lol. They’ve gotten to be super rare here in the wild for a lot of reasons. I would be thrilled to find one in a park. If I did I would leave it, but that’s here. You did the right thing in taking this one home. Coastal Mississippi and Arizona have very different ecosystems. Does he have a name?
Yes! My kids want to name him Dragonfruit since his spotty skin looks like the inside of a dragon fruit.
Lol that’s a good name. He does look a bit like dragonfruit, although I wouldn’t have thought of it. As long as he doesn’t smell like durian!