Florida Softshell Turtle

Florida Softshell Turtle
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  • Item #: FSS

Scientific Name:  Apalone ferox

Identification:The Florida softshell turtle typically has a dark brown to olive green, leathery carapace with a white or cream-colored underside. It has a long neck and an elongated head with a long snorkel-like nose. The juvenile is olive-yellow with grey spots and yellow lines. There are also yellow and orange markings on the head and the plastron is gray. The markings disappear or fade as it ages.

Range: Florida softshell turtles are found on the coastal plains south of an imaginary line connecting Mobile Bay, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, including all of Florida except the Keys.

Diet: Softshell turtles are primarily carnivorous, feeding on aquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks, fish, waterfowl and amphibians. They hunt and chase down prey as well as scavenge. They may also bury themselves in the sand with only the head exposed and ambush unsuspecting prey when it comes within reach. In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, fish, worms, insects and pinkie mice.


Apalone ferox is an aggressive species. Even their Latin name of "ferox" means ferocious. It is not recommended that Florida Softshells be kept in community habitats with species outside of other Florida Softshells, however, there have been those that have had success keeping them with Mud Turtles, Musk Turtles, Sliders, Cooters, Map Turtles and Painted Turtles.

Softshell turtles are capable of pharyngeal breathing. This means they can bypass lung breathing by taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide through a membrane that lines the throat, creating a direct gas exchange within the water. There is also some limited oxygen exchange through the skin.

Softshells are either very docile or very aggressive. There is no in-between. Those that are aggressive can inflict a serious bite with their long neck, powerful jaws, and sharp jaw sheath.

Price $29.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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