Pearl River Map Turtle

Pearl River Map Turtle
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  • Item #: PRM


Scientific Name: Graptemys pearlensis


Identification: The carapace is low lying and tapered at the center. The tapering concludes into a saw like jagged medial keel. Every marginal scute has a vertical yellow bar on the dorsal sides. The carapace is olive green or brown and is divided by black stripes and yellow or orange coloration and patterns. The shell is covered with yellow or olive green rings and patterns that are more prominent in hatchlings and juveniles and fades as the Graptemys pearlensis grows old. The Pearl River Map turtle has a pale yellow, hingeless plastron. The plastron has a characteristic dark pigmentation on the seams. The head, neck, tail and limbs may vary from brown to olive and are usually the same color as the carapace. There are greenish yellow stripes and coloration all over the head and body. Most individuals have a trident of stripes between the snout and eyes


Range: This turtle lives in the Pearl River, which defines the border between Louisiana and Mississippi


Diet: Large-headed females have a diet dominated by mollusks, especially clams. Other favorites include snails and crustaceans. The small-headed males and juvenile females eat predominantly insects. In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, snails, crickets and assorted worms and insects.


The discovery of the Pearl River map turtle broke an 18-year stretch during which no new turtles were discovered in the U.S. Prior to this, the last new turtle was found in 1992. Pearl River Maps are rarely available, as only a few breeders are successfully working with them, but their beauty and plight in the wild make them well worth the extra effort to properly keep them. Females are much larger than males, measuring between 6 and 11 inches and use large crushing surfaces on their jaws to open clams. Males, meanwhile, grow to a comparatively puny 4 to 6 inches.


These are aggressive baskers, so a basking spot is required. They are excellent swimmers and their captive habitat should have a water depth as deep as possible. Substrate should be anywhere from a sand to a fine-to-medium size gravel.


Pearl River Maps are not nearly as skittish as other species of map turtles, but some individuals can be. These map turtles are surprisingly resilient compared to other map turtles in their ability to withstand less than perfect water quality but good filtration is still a must.


Little information on the behavior of G. pearlensis is available. The Pearl River Map Turtle is primarily diurnal. Basking has been observed throughout the day, with peaks at midday and late afternoon. Foraging is also done during the day and night is spent underwater, hanging on branches of underwater tree limbs just below the water surface.

Price $119.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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