Central American Ornate Wood Turtle

Central American Ornate Wood Turtle
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  • Item #: CAWT
 
Scientific Name:  Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni

Identification:  Notably the most colorful of the Central American wood turtles, it is adorned with bright red and orange ocelli against an olive-green to black carapace.  The underside of the marginal scutes are bright red, yellow and black.  The ornate wood turtle has brilliant red striping. Outlined in black, the red striping runs above, between and below the eyes and is also scattered along the olive-green skin of the turtle's legs. The ornate wood turtle can also identified by the thick, dark band of pigment that runs down the center of the plastron.
                                                  
Range:  Southern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica

Diet: Ornate wood turtles love to dig for food and, like eastern box turtles, they have been documented as listening for invertebrates beneath the soil. As omnivores, they also feed on fresh fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, melons and collard greens, as well as small mammals, such as mice and invertebrates such as grubs, beetles and earthworms. In captivity, they do well on Mazuri, veggies, fruits, plants, crickets and occasional worms and insects. Unlike other semi-aquatics, Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni can be fed either on land or in the water.

Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni are variously known as Central American wood turtles, ornate wood turtles, painted wood turtles, Atlantic wood turtles or combinations of these names, such as Central American painted wood turtles.  These turtles are well-tempered and very sociable as well as intelligent. They are extremely personable turtles and can be easily hand-fed. They can be quite beautiful and brightly colored, especially those from northern Costa Rica.  They are a manageable size for most keepers and have proven to be extremely hardy once established. Being somewhat shy, they should be offered plenty of shelter in the form of cork bark tubes or piles of dry leaves. They will often race under a shelter at the approach of their keeper, then will cautiously reappear to see if any food has been offered. Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni are highly aquatic as hatchlings and while young, but become more land-based as they get older and therefore, are not true pond turtles.  They require a large land area in which to roam and hunt for food. And although R. p. manni is drought tolerant, it is also best that enclosures include a large body of shallow water (5 to 6 inches deep) in which the turtles can and will soak.
 

 

 

 

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