Midland Painted Turtle

Midland Painted Turtle
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  • Item #: MP
Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta marginata

Midland Painteds are mid-sized painteds. The males will reach around 5” to 7” while the females can range between 6” to 8”. In recent years, Midland Painted seem to be harder and harder to find.  No one really seems to know why. It could be that a lot of the breeders have gone to more profitable species or because they have a relatively smaller distribution in colder climates with stricter laws. In either event, it has become an unexpected treat to find them online or at reptile shows and expos.

Identification: The centrally located midland is the hardest to distinguish from the other three subspecies. The carapace is smooth, oval & flattened with no keel. The general color of the carapace is olive, olive brown, or nearly black; usually with a vestigial vertebral stripe. The marginal scutes may be decorated with red bars, blotches and stripes. The carapace scutes may also display light red lines along the borders. Midland Painted skin color is usually black to light green; the forearms display broad red lines. The head and throat have prominent yellow lines running from the tip of the nose and mouth downwards across the face. These lines will often turn red as they progress down towards the neck. Similar to the Eastern sub-species, they often have the bright yellow elongated spots on either side behind the eyes. Midland ComboThe plastron can range from tan to red with a prominent pattern of black to dark brown markings that follows the scute seams but do not spread to the outer edges (as with the Western).
Range:  Many variations (& intergrades with other painted sub-species) of this sub-species are found in areas where their ranges overlaps one another...leading to a blending of characteristics and frustration when trying to figure out what sub-species you actually have. The range of the Midland tends to be concentrated most heavily along the great lakes region (Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin).

Diet:  Midland Painteds are omnivorous with the strong preference for being carnivores.  In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, feeder fish, occasional ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, Anachris, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water starwort, Hornwort, Water milfoil, and Frogbit), veggies (such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, Mustard Greens & Dandelions) and some fruits, crickets, meal worms and blood worms.

Females and males can be distinguished visually based on differences in overall size, length and size of tail, length of foreclaws, and position of their anal opening (cloaca). Females 1) are larger than males; 2) have a thin, short tail and shorter foreclaws; and 3) have a cloaca that is located under the rear margin of the carapace. Males 1) are smaller than females; 2) have a thicker, longer tail and longer foreclaws; and 3) have a cloaca that is posterior to the rear margin of the carapace.
A cold-blooded reptile, the Midland Painted turtle regulates its temperature through its environment, notably by basking. All ages bask for warmth, often alongside other species of turtles.  As many as 50 turtles have been observed on a single log, often stacked atop each other in several layers. In captivity, it is crucial for the tank setup to include a basking site where the turtle can get completely dry and bask under lighting that includes not only warmth, but also both UVA and UVB.  The heat helps maintain the preferred body temperature. The  ultraviolet helps eliminate skin parasites and is essential for the synthesis of vitamin D3.  UVB emissions help prevent or reverse metabolic bone disease and UVA increases feeding, mating, and other natural behaviors.
In the wild, the Midland Painted turtle starts its day at sunrise, emerging from the water to bask for several hours. Warmed for activity, it returns to the water to forage.  After becoming chilled, the turtle re-emerges for one to two more cycles of basking and feeding.   At night, the turtle drops to the bottom of its water body or perches on an underwater object and sleeps.  In the spring, when the water reaches 59–64 °F, the turtle begins actively foraging. However, if the water temperature exceeds 86 °F, the turtle will not feed.  It is not uncommon for adult Painted Turtles to go a period of 2-3 weeks without eating, provided that they are active and otherwise showing no signs of illness.   In fall, the turtle stops foraging when temperatures drop below the spring set-point.  In the north during the winter, the turtle hibernates.  The inactive season may be as long as from October to March, while the southernmost populations may not hibernate at all.   The Midland Painted turtle hibernates by burying itself on the bottom of a body of water, or in woods or pastures. When hibernating underwater, the turtle prefers shallow depths, no more than 7 ft.   Within the mud, it may dig down up to an additional 3 ft.  In this state, the turtle does not breathe, although if surroundings allow, it may get some oxygen through its skin.  Periods of warm weather bring the turtles out of hibernation, and even in the north, individuals have been seen basking in February. 
Price $29.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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