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Hybrid Red-eared Slider, YellowBelly Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans X Trachemys scripta scripta


A fascinating find today. This basking turtle appears to be a hybrid between the red-eared slider and the yellowbelly slider. The bright red ear marks of a typical red-eared slider are muted in this individual, but still there. The yellow facial markings of the yellowbelly are more distinct. The carapace is rather dull, but you can still see traces of the yellow markings that appear on yellowbelly sliders.


Basking on a log in Flat Branch Creek, a small to medium sized freshwater stream that runs through Columbia, MO.


I took these photos from a bridge, so I wasn't able to get a look at the plastron (belly) of this individual. Red-eared sliders are common in this area, but yellowbelly sliders are found in the SE USA in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. One couldn only speculate on scenarios that led to this individual being here in Columbia, MO. Perhaps a pet yellowbelly slider was released locally and is now breeding with our red-eared sliders?

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Aaron_G 8 years ago

Interesting! There's no telling what people are releasing into the waterways. Most aquatic turtles are given up on when they grow to or near adult size. :-(

MitchRay 8 years ago

Looks good for one to me. Crazy.

NeilDazet 8 years ago

Herpetology folks: I welcome other interpretations of the ID of this animal. This was my best guess after looking at some field guides and going over photos of the two species.

Spotted by

Missouri, USA

Spotted on Jun 1, 2011
Submitted on Jun 2, 2011

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