Red Eared Slider vs Painted Turtle [The Major Differences]

Red Eared Slider vs Painted Turtle [The Major Differences]

Red-eared sliders are among the most common turtles kept as a pet. It is the same case with the painted turtles, and both having so much in common, it might be challenging to distinguish between the two. The differences are not easy to spot. You will have to be keen and do some research actually to spot the differences. These two turtles are similar in so many ways. They require almost the same conditions to survive, which makes them compatible tank mates. Although this is the case, you will have to pay close attention to see if they are compatible as tank mates. As a beginner looking to get a turtle, you might get stuck deciding which to choose. Let me help you to spot the differences and help you decide which of the two you should choose. Stay tuned to the end.

So, what is the difference between a red-eared slider and a painted turtle? 

Well, although the differences are hard to spot, they do have some minor physical differences—for instance, the curve of the carapace. A painted turtles shell is more domed compared to that of the painted turtle. There is also some color difference at the bottom of their carapace. One of the turtles has more red coloring than the other and in different places.

These differences are useful since every turtle has some requirements that keep them comfortable. It is, therefore, a must to know the turtle you have so that you keep you turtle in the right conditions for a healthy turtle. Although their requirements are similar, there are some minor differences. It is what makes the turtles compatible. Let us now look at some of the other differences between the two turtle species.

What Is The Difference Between A Painted Turtle And A Red-Eared Slider?

Like I said earlier, these two species are hard to distinguish. They are similar in size, in color, lifestyle, and the shell though not entirely. These are some of the things that make it difficult to tell them apart. However, there are ways to do so.

First, the painted turtles are more colorful. 

Although they are similar in color, the painted turtle has more shouting colors. It is not that evident, but if you placed them together, you would notice that punch in color with the painted turtles.

About the colors of their shells, the red-eared slider mostly has a dark brown color. Red and maroon stripes decorate the sides of their head. Painted turtles, on the other hand, have smoother shells. The shells are mostly brown or brown with a greenish tint. The yellow and red markings decorate the carapace.

 Another difference is seen in the shape of their shell. 

A red-eared slider turtle has a steeper carapace compared to a painted turtle. By steep, I mean that their shell is more domed and more significant than that of the painted turtle.

Another difference that distinguishes the red-eared sliders is the red ear mark behind the eye. They also have a crimson color in their eyes compared to the painted turtles that have yellow markings around their eyes. Most painted turtles will also have a yellow streak behind their eyes.

The belly shells also have some differences. 

Red-eared sliders will have belly shells that are yellow and marked with dark spots. These markings are irregular, and you will never find such in a painted turtle. Painted turtles, on the other hand, have brownish-yellow with the markings at the center.

The red-eared sliders are also somewhat larger than the painted turtles. For instance, a red-eared female slider turtle can go to over 13 inches while a female painted turtle goes to about 6 inches. This difference can have so much significance when it comes to distinguishing the two.

The remaining differences are not physical but add to the list. The red-eared slider comes from the Southern United States of America and northern Mexico. The painted turtles, on the other hand, are from North America.

Their life expectancy also adds to their differences. 

With a red-eared slider turtle, you expect them to live for over 50 years and even 70 years when they are in the wild. Keeping them in captivity reduces their lifespan. The painted turtles can live from between 20 to 30 years, and just as the red-eared sliders, the life expectancy decreases when they are in captivity. It, therefore, means that the red-eared slider turtles may outlive you. You expect more life from them compared to painted turtles.

Can Red Eared Sliders Live With Painted Turtles?

By now, you should know that these two turtle species have so much in common. They have a similar lifestyle with some minor differences. It means that these two turtle species can do well when they live in the same tank. They make good mates. These turtles are friendly, and rarely will you find them being aggressive towards each other. They can also live with other species of turtles that are docile and similar in requirements to theirs, such as the red-bellied cooters. Although the red-eared sliders turtle can live in harmony with the painted turtles, there are exceptions. You should, therefore, pay keen attention when you place them in the same tank. You should also consult with a vet for further instructions and recommendations.

Are Painted Turtles Friendly?

The painted turtles are among the most kept pet turtles thanks to their docile nature. They make excellent pets for beginners and even advanced pet owners. They are easy to take care of. With little effort, you will raise a healthy turtle. At the start, you should do a little research on how to keep them. Most beginners make mistakes when they are getting pets for the first time. You should understand better what you are signing up for. Once you set up a standard home for the turtle, you will be good to go. Most turtles do not appreciate handling all the time. It is the same case with this turtle specie. They are always nervous and get scared easily. You should give them some space. Other than that, they are friendly, and you will enjoy having them for a pet.

What Type Of Turtle Is Best For A Pet?

Choosing the best pet turtle can be a task. Most of these turtles have similar requirements. Between the painted turtles and the red-eared sliders, it is up to the buyer to decide. They are identical in almost all aspects. Both can even thrive in the same tank. Choosing the best turtle depends on the buyer’s preferences. What you should understand is that turtles do require some effort in their maintenance, and they require enough space to swim. Some good options for beginners are the male painted turtles, male red-eared slider turtles, musk turtles, and mud turtles. Best turtles are also the ones that remain small even after they are fully grown. When you get a turtle that grows a lot, it might become stressful to take care of them when they are fully grown.

We have looked at the differences between the red-eared slider turtles and the painted turtles so, if you are stuck at choosing one, you should know that they are almost entirely similar with some minor differences. These differences are negligible, and you can pick either. Just choose the one you like.

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