European pond turtle

Habitat bog turtles

Bog turtles live in temperate climate, because not adapted to the harsh winters and hot summer periods.Russian turtles live in rivers and swamps, where they are usually caught lovers.

Where can you catch a turtle

Unlike turtles, the bog turtle lives only in the Northern hemisphere. Experienced breeders know certain places where you can catch representatives of this species – here are a few examples:

  • Delta of the Dnieper;
  • the river of Penzance under Saransk;
  • the ponds near the village of Shadymo of Ruscino (Mordovia).

European pond turtle prefers quiet backwaters of ponds, backwaters and coastal areas of the rivers. Mostly it lives in freshwater areas, however, regularly chosen and on open coastal meadows, to heat from sunlight.

Specific habitats better to check with locals as to detect these reptiles is difficult.

Fishing itself is as follows:

  1. Take the fishing line, baited with a piece of ordinary fish (halibut, Pollack, hake etc.) or a beetle, and another insect.
  2. The piece is immersed in the flavor "Caramel".
  3. Throw to a depth of about 1.5 meters near the shore and waiting for the reptile grab a bite.
  4. Next, lure the turtle to the surface, enter the water and take her by the flanks – left and right.
  5. Gently pull out the hook out of its mouth.

Catch the bog turtle is best in the morning from about 5 am until lunch (13-14 hrs). To do this in the evening and night is meaningless, because reptiles go to sleep, lying on the bottom. Even during the day to catch this animal is not so simple, however, fans can catch multiple species in 1 day. Often catches young with a mass of 500-700 grams, however, there are adult turtles, which weigh 1-1,5 kg.

Where winters turtle

To catch this reptile, you need to know where and how long winters swamp tortoise in nature. Most individuals are active only at temperatures above zero. Once the air cools to +6оС (October-November), they go into hibernation, burrowing into the mud at the bottom of the river. So the turtles spend the entire cold season, after which again appear on the surface.

Out of hibernation they come out when the temperature of the water will be at least +5oC, and the air warms up to 7оС. In Central Russia, such as average daily temperatures consistently come in mid-April or even early may. So to see the first reptiles in the late spring. In the southern regions, where temperatures are almost always above zero, the turtle is active even in winter.

Anatomy and appearance

Brief characteristics of the appearance of reptiles is:

  1. The shell can have different shades of black, dark brown and olive colors.
  2. On the body and carapace of a mud turtle very a lot of spots of yellow color. This is a characteristic symptom, which will always point in the description.
  3. The skin is olive or dark green.
  4. Eyes orange, yellow or sometimes dark.
  5. The feet have strong claws have paddles for swimming.
  6. The tail is long (up to 10-12 cm), designed for fast maneuvering under water.

The skeleton consists of the skull, extremities, spine (cervical, tuloviŝnaâ and caudal division). The main part is covered with a dense armor which can withstand loads in excess of about 200 times the weight of the animal. Length of adult individuals living in the wild is up to 35 cm.

Lifespan and reproduction

The bog turtle weighs an average of 700-800 g Is the juveniles that are less than 3-4 years. At this age they grow very fast. Adult reptiles can reach 1.5 kg body weight. Life expectancy depends on the conditions:

  • European and African reptiles live an average of 50-55 years;
  • animals living on the territory of Russia and Neighboring Countries – 40-45 years.

Reptiles become sexually Mature at the age of 7-8 years when the carapace length of at least 10 cm animals Breed in the spring, almost immediately after waking up from hibernation (may-June). Males chasing females on land, banging his mouth on the shell. Then climb on top – so that is conception. The female lays eggs in the sand in the coastal zone (typically up to 200 m from the shore).

She builds the nest alone, tearing the ground and forming strong legs. For the construction of masonry takes an average 3-4 hours. Then the female mud turtle lays eggs: 5 to 19. Incubation lasts from 2 to 4 months and the hatchlings appear in August or September. They break the shell from the inside and quickly crawl out of the eggs, trying to get to the river. Sometimes they bury themselves in the sand and remain so until spring. Birth weight 5 grams, length approximately 2 cm.

When a floor is not determined genetically and by the environment. If the clutch Matures at a higher temperature, will be born mostly females, and if at low – males. Turtles often nest ruin animals, birds and people. Therefore, in recent years the number of individuals is reduced, and bog turtle was awarded the status "near threatened".

The power and features of lifestyle

Much of the time these reptiles spend in the water: there they can remain for several days in a row, sometimes surfacing for a few seconds. Turtles tend to get on land, but in most cases not crawl further 500 metres. They choose a quiet meadow and bask in the Sunny days. The body temperature of the animal is variable, so it always depends on the ambient temperature.

Bog turtles are perfectly able to swim, maneuver under water, to dive, to make any movement. They feed mainly on:

  • crustaceans;
  • insects;
  • shellfish;
  • tadpoles, frogs;
  • caviar;
  • small fish.

Generally, they prefer to hunt live animals, but may eat carrion. Bog turtles are predators, but a weak hunter. Often they can only catch slow moving objects, so the fish they almost do not eat. Up to 15% of diet is vegetable food is duckweed, algae and other aquatic plants.

How to install floor reptiles

To determine the sex of a marsh turtle only in adults aged at least 7 years (length of carapace 10 cm). To install the floor in the individual reptiles is extremely difficult. However, if we compare a few animals to make it much easier. It is based on such characteristics:

  1. Females have a flat plastron (bony the surface of the abdomen) and the male is a little concave inside.
  2. Females smaller males (and most other types of the situation is the opposite).
  3. Males have longer and more powerful claws on the front paws.
  4. Tail males have long, powerful, and females in short and without obvious bulges.
  5. The rear part of the plastron of males is angular, females have rounded.
  6. The females eyes more bright (yellow shades), and males have orange and brown.
  7. The females jaws are developed to a greater extent than males.

There are other distinctive features. Males are much more aggressive, often arrange fights with rivals. They follow females on land, float them in water.

The name of the "Swamp turtle" reflects the characteristics of the habitat and lifestyle of the animal. Although in fact these reptiles are most often found in clear waters of rivers, ponds and lakes. They prefer quiet backwaters with high humidity and moderate temperature fluctuations.

Video: European pond turtle in the wild

European pond turtle
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