Razorback Musk Turtle

Razorback Musk Turtle
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  • Item #: RMU

ItScientific Name:   Sternotherus carinatus


Identification:   Razorbacks are much lighter in color than most muds and musks with coloring from gray to almost silver, or light brown to orange with spotted or streaked darker markings, they are one of the prettiest.  The shell has a distinct, sharp keel down the center of its length, giving the species its common name.  It has a long neck, short legs, and a sharp beak.


The plastron is small, with only one hinge which is located anteriorly.  Barbels are present on the chin only. 




Range: Found in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, east Texas, Florida and SE Oklahoma




Diet:  The Razorback turtle is mostly carnivorous in the wild feeding on aquatic invertebrates such as crayfish, clams, snails, crickets and underwater insects. They also eat fish, bloodworms and earthworms. In captivity you can feed your Razorback turtle commercial turtle pellets, assorted insects, fish and meat chunk dabbed in powdered calcium and vitamins. The Sternotherus Carinatus tends to be obese if overfed and hence its diet should be controlled.




Razorback's are the largest of the musk turtles.  All Musk turtles are "bottom walkers", meaning they forage on the riverbed looking for food. So you will need a large surface area.  Razorbacks are more shy by nature than other species of musk turtles, and a substrate of river pebbles seems to give them a greater sense of security. Given the southern distribution of this species, they are less likely to be as cold tolerant as the stinkpot.   Musk turtles are not great swimmers so will require plants and other objects to help them get to the surface to breathe.


The razorback musk turtle is a favorite for turtle hobbyists because of its small size, sweet looks, temperament and ease of handling. A hatchling is almost the size of a quarter and can grow up to 6 inches.


Given ample space, razorbacks do very well in community settings. Painted turtles, sliders, and cooters are good choices as tank mates. Razorbacks are well able to live in the deeper water that these basking species require, and usually coexist peacefully provided the size difference of the inhabitants is not pronounced. Caution is advised when maintaining any musk turtles together with their own kind or closely related species. Aggression between rival males, or with unreceptive females often results.

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Price $55.00

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