Mississippi Map Turtle care Sheet

Mississippi Map Turtles, additionally known as Sawback Turtles, have become a popular species among reptile hobbyists. These aquatic turtles are lively, entertaining to watch, and have a beautiful look to them, making lock a striking pet.

You are watching: How long do mississippi map turtles live

Whether you are interested in learning more about these men or might even be thinking around getting one yourself, we have done every the research and bring you all the findings you need, so that you don’t have to.

Mississippi Map Turtle quick Reference Section

Table that Contents

Experience Level:BeginnerScientific Name:Graptemys pseudogeographica kohniAlternate Name(s):Sawback MapTurtleFamily:EmydidaeSize:Males 3.5 come 5 inches; Females 6 to 10 inchesDiet:OmnivorousLifespan:15 come 25 years

Quick Facts about Mississippi Map Turtles

Mississippi Map tortoise on white background
These turtles are strong swimmers and are simply as comfortable in swift waters together they room in stagnant water.Full-grown Mississippi Map turtle females are considerably larger than their masculine counterparts, sometimes growing up to twice their size.

Mississippi Map tortoise Appearance

These tortoise can selection from olive eco-friendly to irradiate or dark brown on your bodies. They have actually map-like contours anywhere their bodies and also sometimes on the patterns of their carapace.

They get the surname “Sawback” indigenous the diagonal line line the runs under their carapace. This ridge has actually distinctive spines that sort of look prefer the spicy ends of a saw.

There are quite a few variants or shape of the Mississippi Map Turtle.

The High Orange Mississippi Map turtle variant appearing way that the parents can have had actually the rarely gene for high colors. These morphs room rare and also a bit difficult to find, but showcase a beautiful glowing or dull orange all over their body with the same yellow markings.

There is also the White, Leucistic, or Albino Mississippi Map Turtle, i beg your pardon is usually a map turtle but totally pink through the very same markings but in grey pink. Sometimes these will be pale yellow or cream with tan markings.

See links on wherein to buy castle in ours “Where come Buy” ar below.

Mississippi Map tortoise Location and Natural Habitat

Mississippi map tortoise in the wild

Mississippi Map tortoise are indigenous to the Mississippi Valley and also can additionally occur along the central U.S. And southward right into the Gulf States.

While lock are good swimmers that deserve to handle both swift and also stagnant waters, they prefer bodies that water with moderate currents such as big streams, lakes, and rivers with numerous vegetation.

They are supplied to warm and highly humid climates the come with the areas they roam.

Mississippi Map tortoise Diet

Mississippi Map Turtles swim around and will eat anything lock can uncover in your habitats.

In the wild, they will normally be checked out eating aquatic insects, dead fish, crustaceans, midge larvae, mollusks because that protein, and also they will certainly gobble up lots of aquatic vegetation for greens.

Mississippi Map turtle Lifespan

Their mean lifespan is mostly roughly 15 to twenty years in the wild, but they deserve to live from 30 year or much more when in captivity with proper husbandry.

Mississippi Map Turtles will reach sexual maturity at about 4 to 6 years for males and also around 8 come 14 years for females. You have the right to tell they room full-grown by measure up the dimension of their carapace in ~ 3 come 5 inches because that males and also 6 to 10 inches for females.

Mississippi Map Turtle reproduction Habits

Females usually lay 3 clutches of eggs a year, with each clutch consisted of of 5 come 22 eggs.

These types of turtles mate in October or November and also again in April. Nesting can happen anytime native mid-May to late July.

One that the only times a Mississippi Map will certainly leave the water is come nest. The mommy turtle will uncover a an excellent spot to swarm anywhere indigenous 16 come 490 feet indigenous the water to deposit its egg on sandy beaches through low shrubs, preferably.

Predators the the Mississippi Map Turtle

Predators that this varieties of turtle incorporate rice rats once they space young, Red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and ring-billed gulls once they space hatchlings. When they are arising from their eggs, lock may likewise fall food to pike, catfish, bass, and great blue herons.

Their marking, color, and also shape enable them to blend right into their setting to hide from predators. This cryptic adaptation help them protect against detection and also is their greatest defense versus predation.

When approached, the skittish Mississippi Map turtle will generally attempt to flee prior to acting in any kind of other way.

Mississippi Map tortoise Legality

When it pertains to turtles, phibìc Carolina and South Dakota room the only two says that ban the buying, selling, trade, and also bartering that all species of turtles.

Check the end the room of eco-friendly Management’s website to watch the list of legal types for your details location, because it really is top top a state-by-state basis.

In some states, you may need a license or allow to sell or partake in the reptile trade. Some claims may also require girlfriend to have actually a permit just to store them and you will always want to store paperwork in order to prove that they are capture born (CB).

Where to Buy Mississippi Map Turtles

There are plenty of reputable sites that sell captive-bred turtles. Inspect out our list listed below for an ext info.

The reason why you want captive-bred or commercial turtles is as result of the capacity to select your turtle, the truth that your types choices won’t be restricted to regional or aboriginal species, you’re not including in the depletion of the wild population, and captive-bred turtle will already be acclimated to captivity.

If you space interested in getting a Mississippi Map morph prefer the Albino or High Orange Mississippi Map turtle, your prices deserve to be quite high since they room rare, yet you can examine some the end here: https://albinoturtles.com/white-mississippi-map-turtles-for-sale/

Care Sheet for Mississippi Map Turtle

Mississippi map turtle in water


Looking because that tips on just how to create the perfect Mississippi Map turtle tank setup? We acquired you!

These guys really gain swimming and will spend many of your time in the water. This means you want to make sure that you give them plenty of room come swim about in.

Considering this and the sex of your turtle, you want to go for a bigger tank about this information. For a female, you could want to acquire a 75-gallon and 25 gallons because that a male.

They prefer a water depth of roughly 10 inches as much as 30 customs deep.

These quantities should provide your turtle appropriate quantities of swimming an are as well together room for everything else friend might add to their tank.


Aquatic turtles are messy and will develop a the majority of waste that will certainly dirty their water. If you desire to store your aquatic turtle tank clean, we have actually some advice because that making your life a tiny easier for preserving a tidy tank.

First off, girlfriend don’t desire cleaning her turtle’s tank to be a chore, so do it simpler on yourself by installation a filter to your tank. A canister filter will certainly be more efficient in comparison to the usual aquarium filters since they have actually a larger water filtering capacity.

A powerful water filter is a prudent invest as it permits for enough oxygen levels and keeps the water clean and clear.

Generally, you need to clean the media of your canister filter at the very least once every two months.

To preserve a healthy atmosphere for her aquatic turtle, make sure that you space removing any type of uneaten food and also waste from the bottom of their tank. At the very least once a week, you must dedicate time to usage a long-nozzled, BPA-free siphon to remove any type of debris in your tank.

Leaving these leftovers and waste in ~ the bottom the its tank can reason a spike in ammonia and also harmful bacteria which room toxic to her turtle. They can lead to illness or other health issues and can probably kill your pet.

Try to vacuum her aquarium substrate through a siphon about three to four times every month.

We also recommend the you get a home water check kit to check for pH, nitrates, and nitrites.

Another point that can help maintain your turtle tank is aquatic plants, specifically the floating kind. Since floating plants have direct accessibility to CO2, they will absorb fewer nutrient in the tank.

Aquatic plants will certainly absorb ammonia as well as unwanted nitrates. However, part turtles view aquatic plants as a snack quite than a tank-cleaner. Dirt turtles will certainly not do lunch out of water lettuce, so us recommend make the efforts that.

Besides plants, you have the right to also add algae-eating shrimp or fish. Unfortunately, they will eventually become a snack for her turtle as well.

You should also be sterilizing your water with a UV water sterilizer to protect against free-floating pathogens, i m sorry can reason stinky, murky water. This can not be done v your turtle’s UVB basking light; you must purchase a different light for this job.

You have the right to use her UV water sterilizer around once a week, yet make certain to carry out so ~ feeding.

You must be performing dechlorinated water transforms every other week. You don’t desire ammonia or nitrates to be structure up in her turtle’s home, and filtration systems will not do the job, therefore a fast fix would certainly be to adjust their water.

You should dechlorinate her tap water before you placed it right into their tank. Some world might think the chlorine or chloramine is great for the tank since it death bacteria, right?

Well, yes it will kill the harmful bacteria, but it will also kill the much-needed bacteria that will work on the ammonia and also nitrate levels for you. This is why dechlorination is vital in your water change.

You deserve to do this by simply adding a water conditioner right into your insanity water and letting the sit for about half a day. Then execute a 30 percent water readjust when it’s ready.

Do this every various other week and also you’re great to go!


Reptile sand, well pea gravel, huge pebbles, coated gravel, and also riverbed sand must all work-related as a an excellent substrate for her Mississippi Map.

About one inch and also a fifty percent at the bottom of their enclosure must do.

Temperature and Lighting

Again, these guys come native a hot and also humid climate, definition you will desire to store their waters roughly the short to mid-70s come 80 degrees Fahrenheit because that adults. These temperatures need to be continuous during both day and night hours.

You can attain this warmth v a water heater keeping the general 1W every 1L of water preeminence in mind.

You may also use warm lamps in your enclosures if needed.

Turtles will manage their body temperatures by basking and also swimming.

They prefer a basking area through temperatures in the high 80s and also low 90s. This have the right to be achieved through a 60W or 100W basking bulb orUVB light, i m sorry should always be on.

Install a thermometer in order to monitor her numbers.

Regular cool fluorescent lights deserve to be used to mimic the i of night and also day. If girlfriend can’t reliably revolve the lamp on and also off in ~ the exact same times every day, friend can obtain a timer.


This species of turtle likewise enjoys basking, as such, that is crucial to have a pair of flat surfaces whereby the turtle have the right to bask. You desire to give them a huge basking area that can work with the UVB lighting, allowing a gradient of assorted temperatures for them to select from.

In the wild, the Mississippi Map tortoise is many comfortable around a many vegetation. Therefore, the tank should have actually some aquatic plants. This is necessary as lack of vegetation usually causes the tortoise unnecessary stress.

However, if you space not cautious in your choice of vegetation, they could just disappear into your turtle’s belly!

After much research, it seems that submersible ferns prefer Aquatic Java Ferns, or aquatic plants favor Anubias, or Amazon Swords normally work.

Some owners have actually luck with large duckweed as well as other varieties of duckweed. Although, some turtles are known to favor duckweed.

You can also try the elegant dwarf lily pads, but it is still feasible they will shot to nibble ~ above them.

Be aware of Pothos, together they might be toxic to some turtles.

Even if they execute eat the plants, at the very least they will supply nutrients to her turtles and will at some point grow back anyways if friend have an ext plants 보다 turtles.


These aquatic turtles will certainly rarely ever before leave the water except to nest and to eat. Lock will only feed in the water, so the is how owners must provide them their food and do so with care.

They gain dark irpari greens like spinach and also parsley, Romaine lettuce, dandelion leaves, or various other fresh plants. They additionally like a variety of fruit and also will eat much more or less any kind.

You can offer them vegetation v some nutritionally balanced turtle pellets come make sure that lock are acquiring all their nutrients. You must be feeding her turtle a balanced diet.

Since they room omnivorous, you can enhance these greens through some protein. However, that is essential that you offer them low-fat proteins and also not also often due to the fact that it have the right to lead come an unhealthy expansion rate andpyramiding that the shell.

You will, however, need to identify the kind of protein you offer them relying on their gender due to their far-reaching size differences.

Males can eat fish pieces, mealworms, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and mollusks whereas females deserve to be fed bigger prey items such together snails and also clams.

Adults need to feed 4 or 5 time a week, when young turtles need to be fed only when daily. Overfeeding is additionally not recommended since it can lead come obesity, likewise shortening their lives.


While these turtles space a little bit timid and also shy, they can make an excellent community turtles since they rarely display aggression.

Some territorial and competitive behavior can occur among males when approximately a female. Males have also been seen to sexually harass females, possibly leading to the require for separation.

It is additionally recommended the you border the variety of females kept together as result of their acts of asserting dominance, which might intimidate various other turtles, do them feel uncomfortable in their enclosure.


These shy turtle don’t usually enjoy being tackled so you have to avoid law so unless it’s absolutely necessary. If it need to be safe to perform so, watch out for any possible transmissive diseases and possible bites if they are frightened by you.

While they are gentle creatures that generally won’t bite once they space handled, being taken on too lot will take it them the end of their happy place, i beg your pardon is in the water away from person hands.

See more: What Does Lg Stand For Slang Abbreviation Meaning, Lg Definition

They can likewise be protective sometimes, yet mostly it need to be safe to handle them once you must.