Field Guide to Maryland's Turtles (Order Testudines)
Trachemys scripta elegans
Photo of Red-eared Slider courtesy of John White
8 - 13 inches. Record: 15 inches
Photo of Red-eared Slider courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Prefers slow warm waters of ponds, lakes, marshes, streams with muddy bottoms, abundant aquatic vegetation and basking rocks and logs.
How to Find
From March through September, use binoculars to search basking sites of
ponds and lakes.
They may also be seen swimming at the surface of water bodies. They get their name from the rapid way they slide off basking sites.
Photo of Habitat for Red-eared Slider courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Distribution in Maryland
This species is not native to Maryland. It is naturally found in the southern United States and was introduced by people releasing pet turtles into the wild. Currently, they can be found in the north and central parts of the state, as far south as Prince George's County.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
To see older newsletters, please visit the MARA Resource Page.
The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.