Can Painted Turtles Mate With Red Eared Sliders?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Rumors are that some people have spotted unique-looking turtle babies basking on ponds in southern Ontario. These turtles have the body of a painted turtle with sporting red ears like red eared slides. Are they the offspring of these 2 species? Can painted turtles actually mate with red eared sliders? 

Painted turtles can mate with red eared sliders and produce offspring. But the babies are often born with physical challenges, fatal diseases and the inability to breed. This is why the cross-bred babies of these species are so rare. 

Considering the challenges, should you breed these species? Find out the answers below. 

Is It Possible To Breed Painted Turtles With Red Eared Sliders?

From my previous post, you know that red eared sliders can live with painted turtles in captivity. In fact, these 2 species are often seen together in the wild. These turtles are compatible because of the similar type of care sheet requirements.

Considering all these similarities in lifestyle, experts believe that painted turtles can mate with red eared sliders. But yes, this is not common.

As I told you, there are rumors of spotting red eared sliders and painted turtle offspring in the wild. It can be true. But due to the rarity, these cross-bred hatchlings are harder to catch. 

One more thing.

The hybrid babies may have different lifestyles and care sheet requirements from their parents. So, figuring out the offspring is a big deal.

Again, in most cases, there is a high risk that the entire clutch may not hatch at all. Even when babies are born, they may suffer from genetic disorders and physical abnormalities. Also, these hybrid turtles will not live to the fullest.

The professionals claim the red eared slider and painted turtle cross-bred babies are sterile. Hence, you can not produce a new generation of species. 

How To Take Care Of Eastern Painted Turtle

How Can You Breed Painted Turtles And Red Eared Sliders? 

By now, you know that breeding painted turtles and red eared sliders are possible. But it comes with certain risks because of the slight differences in their daily requirements. So, you must draft a new care sheet that suits both species. 

Here are the things you need to consider when cross-breeding these species, 

1. Habitat Surrounding 

Of course, when housing multiple turtles, you must manage a larger tank. Generally, an aquarium of 100 – 150 gallons is enough for an average-sized painted turtle and red eared slider couple.

After settling on the pen size, move on to the surrounding. Both species are freshwater turtles, so installing a strong water filter is mandatory. 

Next, both turtles prefer rippled water streams. For example, red eared sliders prefer fast-moving water, while painted turtles are comfortable in slow water sources. Thus, the stream in the new enclosure should be in between. 

Again, the species show slight differences in the basking temperature requirements too. The preferred temperature for painted turtles and red eared sliders are 90 – 92F and 85 – 88F, respectively. Therefore, consult the vet when deciding on the basking temperature range. 

Luckily, the preferred humidity for both species is around 70%. So, no customization is required here. 

Apart from these, set up a heating lamp and UV bulb for the pair. 

If customizing a new care sheet seems complicated, try to breed the turtles in an outdoor setup. 

2. Size Similarities 

The painted turtles and red eared sliders share slight size differences. For instance, the carapace length of the sliders can reach up to 16 inches, whereas the painted turtles only grow up to 12 inches. 

Obviously, not all turtles have this handsome length. So, when selecting the breeding pair, make sure the couple has a similar length. Otherwise, the larger turtle will try to take territorial advantage by means of its size and strength.

3. Behavior & Temperament 

Unfortunately, red eared sliders have quite the temperament. They are moody and aggressive, especially towards the tank mates. 

Painted turtles, on the contrary, are docile. But if it comes to fighting, they will not step back and attack the opponent with all force. 

Therefore, the pair of red eared sliders and painted turtles may get into a dirty fight. Always keep an eye on the couple and separate them if needed. You can try other partners to find a suitable pair. 

4. Post-mating Care 

Soon after successful copulation, the gravid turtle will go for nesting. The hatching part will be difficult as we expect a hybrid turtle.

Dig out the deposited eggs and transfer them into an incubator. Ask an expert for the suitable temperature and moisture level required for the clutch.

There is a high chance that the hatchlings will be weak and physically challenged. So, you may need to give them extra attention to thrive.

Should You Let The Painted Turtle And Red Eared Slider Mate?

I personally will never breed my red eared sliders and painted turtles. Let me tell you why!

Though both species belong to the Emydidae family, they are from a different genera. Such as the red eared sliders are from Trachemys, and painted turtles come from the Chrysemys genus. Hence, the hybrid turtles will have a mixed genetic order.

I know the idea of cross-breeding the turtles sounds fascinating. But there are risks too. 

The mixed genes of both species bring more chances of health diseases. These illnesses are often proven to be fatal and deadly in most cases.

Besides, the cross-bred offspring are born physically weak and abnormal. Moreover, there is a high chance that these babies will grow sterile.

Because of these drawbacks, I always discourage cross breeding red eared sliders and painted turtles. No matter how tempting the experiment looks, do not put your lovely turtles on this stressful journey. However, consult a vet before proceeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Painted Turtles Breed With Yellow Bellied Sliders?

Painted turtles and yellow bellied turtles are compatible with each other. Hence, breeding the two species is also possible. But it is not suggested because of the risks of cross-breeding, such as crippled and sterile babies.

Can Red Eared Sliders Mate With Other Turtles?

Red eared sliders are prolific breeders and will mate with any turtle. Though such incidents are common in the wild, it is not encouraged in captivity. The cross-bred babies are often born with physical damage and are prone to fatal diseases. Besides, they are not sterile.

Before You Go

Red eared sliders and painted turtles are comfortable sharing an enclosure. But the traditional care sheets will not work. Get the tricks on how to raise these two species successfully from the link below.

Can A Painted Turtle Live With A Red Eared Slider? 

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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