Mississippi map turtle, Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni
Mississippi map turtles are stunning and easy to care for
- Mississippi map turtles make very interesting pets
- Undifficult care requirements make them a good beginner turtle
- Stunning markings along their bodies and shells
Do Mississippi map turtles make good pets?
The Mississippi map turtle is an average-sized turtle originating from the Mississippi River and its tributaries. They will spend the majority of their time in the water, however will also come out onto a land area to bask. Handling can be quite stressful for most turtles so should be avoided, however, they make extremely entertaining pets to feed and watch.
At Swell Reptiles, all of the Mississippi map turtles we have for sale were captive bred in the UK, meaning you can rest assured your new turtle came from a reliable source, without impacting their native ecosystems in a negative way.
What size enclosure does a Mississippi map turtle need?
Male Mississipi map turtles are significantly smaller than females of the species, so do not tend to need quite as much space, but they should still be provided with enough space to swim around and have adequate enrichment. We recommend an aquarium over a terrarium, with a minimum length of 90cm (3ft) for males, or 120cm (4ft) for females, although deep-bottomed terrariums of the same size can be used, such as the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 90x45x45cm for males.
Do Mississippi map turtles need heat and UV?
To begin with, your Mississippi map turtles water should be kept between 22-25°C (71-77°F) which can be achieved using an appropriately sized aquarium heater. Their land area should then also provide them with a basking temperature between 30-32°C (86-89°F) and a UVI between 3-4 to allow them to regulate their internal body temperature and synthesise vitamin D3 for shell and bone growth.
Heat and UVB can be provided from a single source using a Mercury Vapour Lamp suspended over the land area. The height at which this will produce the required differs between brands, so it is important to check the product information or use a Solarmeter. These can also not be controlled by a thermostat, so you will need to lower/higher the fixture or wattage as required.
You may instead choose to provide your heat and UVB from separate sources, here your heat will come in the form of a basking lamp or a ceramic heater. These should always be attached to a compatible thermostat to ensure their safety, so a dimming thermostat for basking lamps, or a pulse thermostat for ceramic heaters.
Your UV, however, will come in the form of a strip light which should be tailored to the distance between the fixture and the turtles shell. If this will be between 30-40cm (12-15”), an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% is a good choice, whereas if this will be between 40-60cm (15-24”), an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Desert 12% would be better.
How do I keep my Mississippi map turtle’s water clean?
Turtles are quite messy pets, and Mississippi map turtles are no exception. Their water should, therefore, be filtered both to remove particles of debris and to remove harmful ammonia and nitrites from the water column. Internal filters can be used, however, we recommend using larger external filters as they tend to be more effective in the larger aquariums required by this species.
How do I decorate a Mississippi map turtle’s enclosure?
To create your land area, this can be done using substrate built up in one end of the aquarium, although a barrier will generally need to be created to prevent this from slipping into the water area. Other options such as the Swell Turtle Ramp or Zoo Med Turtle Dock, or even just pieces of wood and rocks can be used to create an artificial land area. Enrichment can be provided in the form of rocks, logs, wood pieces and aquatic or terrestrial foliage, from either large or artificial plants.
What do Mississippi map turtles eat?
Mississippi map turtles are omnivorous and can be fed on a varied diet of fish, live worms, mussels, live insects and vegetation which will form a more prominent part of the turtles diet as they mature. Health issues have been noted in this species when fed on a diet too high in protein, which is an important consideration when determining the ratio or meats and vegetation fed to your turtle.
Supplementation is still important for Mississippi map turtles, however, most supplements come in powder form which doesn’t tend to work very well in aquatic environments. Turtle-specific options such as Zoo Meds Dr. Turtle Slow Release Calcium Blocks are a better alternative here.
How do I buy a Mississippi map turtle?
If you would like to take home one of our UK captive bred Mississippi map turtles, you will need to collect this from our store as we do not ship livestock.
Please feel free to come in and see us, bringing some images of a suitable set-up which should be completely ready for the turtle to go into. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.
For more detailed husbandry information, please see our Mississippi Map Turtle Care Sheet.
|Common names||Mississippi map turtle|
|Scientific name||Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni|
|Adult size||112-25cm (5-10”), with females being much larger/td>|
|Natural habitat||Rivers and streams|
|Housing||90-120cm (3-4ft) aquarium, sex-dependent|
|Ideal temperature||22-25°C (71-77°F) (water); 30-32°C (86-89°F) (basking)|
|Ideal humidity||N/A - Aquatic|
|Average lifespan||20-30 years|
|Ease of handling||Handling can be stressful and is not recommended|