Red-cheek mud turtles

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cdmay

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Here are some photos of red-cheek mud turtles, Kinosternon scorpioides cruentatum. They occur from southern Mexico (including the Yucatan peninsula) down to Costa Rica. Most of the animals in the United States were imported from Guatemala although some keepers have them from other localities too.

Here is an adult female basking...



Not great photos but this is a breeding pair...




Adult and sub-adult females...
Two year old with a piece of cooked chicken.



Adult females










The juveniles become very responsive and are great little turtles to keep...



But they are often biters until they get older.





One problem with the juveniles being kept together is that you have to watch out that they don't nip each others toes. So I prefer to raise them alone until they are large enough to put in small groups of several females to one male. Males will NOT tolerate each other unless they are in an enormous aquarium or a pond.
This is an adult male. As the males age they become increasingly darker about the head and eventually the striped pattern breaks up into flecks...





Red cheeks make excellent captives if you have a large aquarium or small pond. The do have to be kept warmer than native mud or musk turtles so if you experience cold winters their water must be heated or some other cold protection must be provided. A land area is something they need too.
If you have had any experience keeping large cichlids (fish) then you could probably do well with red-cheeks as well since their needs are similar as regards to water filtration and so forth.
 

Jacqui

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Thank you Carl! These guys are so impressive. Awesome colors on those faces!!
 

immayo

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I like the picture where that little on looks like he wants to chomp on your finger! Haha
 
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