Mini turtles, because of their size, make popular choices for reptile enthusiasts.
Various types of turtles remain relatively small throughout their life span. If you are looking for a moderately proportioned turtle, the mud turtle would be a great selection. Two individual species, the Common Mud turtle and the Striped mud turtle never grow any longer than 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) and average at 3 inches (7.6 cm). Two other types of mud turtle, the Yellow mud turtle and the Sonoran mud turtle boast the adult size of around six inches (15.2 cm), which is about the same length as the Chinese Pond Turtle, also known as Reeves Turtle.
The average size of the spotted turtle and the musk turtle is given as 5 inches (12.7 cm). This specification excludes the Razorback musk turtle, which can grow to 6 inches (15.2 cm). Due to an unusual defence mechanism, musk turtles are sometimes called stinkpots. One of their distinguishing features is the stripe that decorates each side of the faces. This breed comes out at night or early in the morning, when they soak up sunlight and warmth. They swim quite well and also have a talent for clambering up the branches of trees from the water. As juveniles, their diet comprises mainly meat, although they will learn to appreciate the taste of duckweed and water hyacinth as they mature. Pet owners could provide them bloodworm, mealworms, insects and commercial turtle pellets to eat. Remember to include a calcium supplement to promote healthy bone and shell development.
As pets, Reeves turtles are known for their interesting character as well as their enthusiastic feeding. With kind treatment, they will soon show their gregarious side. If you keep only one of them as pet, a tank with the capacity to hold 20 to 30 gallons will be sufficient. For a larger community of turtles, more space will obviously be required.
If you do obtain a Reeves turtle or mud turtle, remember that these two types of turtles are often taken against the law from their natural environment. Under those circumstances, they may have suffered trauma or been injured and this could negatively affect their disposition. The presence of parasites could need your attention. It is always better and more humane to buy from a registered breeder of captive turtles, as these would be used to interacting with people.
Mini turtles are engaging and fascinating to observe and handle. Prospective owners should however bear in mind that they are sometimes carriers of the disease salmonella. Persons specifically vulnerable to infection are the elderly, pregnant women, children under the age of five, organ transplant patients, cancer victims, liver patients and diabetics. With the proper precautions in place, such as washing hands after interactions, mini turtles could still make great pets.