Is Calico Map Turtle A Good Pet?

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Are you planning to buy a pet turtle? You have so many species of turtles to choose from, but you want something unique. So, you may have been thinking about getting a Calico Map turtle. But is a calico map turtle good as a pet? 

Calico map turtles are friendly and community reptiles. Once they adjust to their new environment, it is not difficult for the owners to bond with them. People adore these turtles for their unique shell patterns.   

Let’s learn more about Calico map turtles so that you can decide if they are a good choice. 

Brief Details Of Calico Map Turtle

Turtle SubcategoryMap Turtles
Common Name: Calico Map
Scientific Name:Graptemys Pseudogegraphica Kohnii
Turtle Category:North American Aquatic Turtles
Food HabitOmnivores
Life Span15 to 20 years
Care Level DifficultyMid

How Big Do Calico Map Turtles Get?

Calico map turtles are closely related to Mississippi map turtles. But they grow slightly smaller. The average size of an adult Calico map turtle is 4 inches. On the other hand, The females are larger than the males. They can reach up to 6 to7 inches.  

Calico Map Turtle Appearance and Color

Young Calico map turtles have bright yellow- and olive-colored patterns splattered all over their shell. The patterns are always different for each turtle, making the turtles so unique. Even as adults, they manage to keep their bright colors. 

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Calico map turtles have a comparatively flatter carapace. They have a prominent keel in the middle of their shells. The edges of the shells also seem platted with attractive patterns.  

Calico Map Turtle Price

Calico turtles are not common in pet shops. So, be prepared to spend a good amount of money if you want one. Depending on where you are and the age of the turtles, it may cost $50 to $150 to buy a Calico map turtle. 

Before buying a calico map turtle, check your state law. In the USA, keeping Calico Map turtles is restricted in some states. Also, buy a turtle from a legal pet seller and make sure the turtles are not captured from the wild. 

Is Calico Map Turtle A Good Pet?

Now, should you get a Calico map turtle? The answer depends on your experience and how much care you can provide a turtle. Similar to Mississippi map turtles, Calico Map turtles need some time to grow friendly with their owner. So, you have to be patient. 

The size is another concern for the owners. Male turtles can be easily kept in a 55-gallon tank. But female Calico map turtles can grow up to 8 inches. Hence, you will need a bigger enclosure. Again, if you want to keep multiple Calico map turtles, you need an even bigger tank. 

Providing a large tank is important for Calico map turtles, as they like to swim a lot. They prefer to swim underwater close to the bottom. The water should be clean to maintain the turtle’s mental health. 

See also  Do Mississippi Map Turtles Bite?

You may have to be more attentive to a Calico map turtle than most other turtle species. If you provide good care, you will find healthy, bright turtles playing around in the tank. 

Calico turtles are omnivores. Therefore, you do not have to worry much about their diet. They like to eat both animals and vegetables. You can feed them insects, mollusks, worms, fish, and commercial pellets. 


Calico map turtles can impress anyone with their attractive color and shell pattern. But they are a rare turtle species to be considered as pets. The Calico map turtles are rarely available in ordinary pet shops. Hence, you have to pay a high price for them. However, keeping them as pets is not so difficult or costly. 

If you know how to take care of Calico map turtles, you can keep them in your indoor tank or outdoor pond. 

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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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