▶ Adopt A Pond | Species Guides | red eared slider


Report your sighting!

Red-Eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans

The red-eared slider is often sold in pet stores, but is not native to Ontario. Never release your pet turtle into the wild. They may carry diseases that threaten our native turtles, and are not likely to survive.

  • A broad red or orange band behind the eye gives it its name. In many adults, especially males, this characteristic is faded.
  • Carapace varies in colour from olive to brown or dark brownish, and is marked with a pattern of yellow and black bands and stripes
  • The plastron is yellowish and often has dark spots or smudges in the centre of each scute
  • The head and limbs are green, olive, or brown with black and yellow stripes
  • The Red-eared slider is found naturally from West Virginia to northern Indiana and Illinois, south to western Georgia, through Texas to northern Mexico as well as eastern New Mexico.

There are confirmed sightings of Red-eared sliders throughout the Greater Toronto Area because they have been abandoned by irresponsible pet owners. The Red-eared slider competes with native turtles for food and basking sites and can make our turtles sick. It can also occupy areas that are favourable nesting and over-wintering sites for native turtles.