EASTERN RIVER COOTER
PSEUDEMYS CONCINNA CONCINNA
Eastern River Cooter's are the largest
freshwater turtle kept as pets in New Zealand and there are very few of them left
surviving. In the 50's and 60's quite a few of these were seen for sale in the Pet Shops
along with Red-eared Sliders. No-one to our knowledge has bred any, so the few that remain
alive are very old indeed.
Females can reach a shell length of 40cm, and males a shell
length up to 20cm.
Like the male Red-eared Turtles, the male River
Cooter's have extremely long claws on their front feet and a very large
tail in relation to the females.
Adult River Cooter's make excellent pond
turtles due to their large size, but if you are wanting to keep these guys in a tank then
we recommend that you obtain males.
Adult River Cooter's require a low protein
diet. This should consist of Cos lettuce to be supplied daily for them to graze on at
will. This can be supplemented two or three times a week with a low protein Turtle diet.
We use Zoo Med Maintenance Diet which is formulated for American vegetarian Turtles. Young
River Cooter's can be fed a little more protein in their diet.
River Cooter's are very hardy however they are a species that doesn't
hibernate, so if kept in ponds over the summer they will either require their pond to be
heated during the cooler months, otherwise winter accommodation indoors will need to be
provided. River Cooter's will adapt to summer pond life once three or
four years old.