Are Red-Eared Slider Turtles Social or Solitary?

One of the most fascinating people who walk this green planet are animal lovers. Our planet can boast of an array of very beautiful creatures which make up a part of our biodiversity; J,k Rowlings must have been inspired by such diversity when she wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The red-eared slider turtle happens to be one of those really interesting creatures around. Largely because they have always been dubbed as one of the biggest loners of the animal world.

I have always been intrigued by the most prominent feature of the red-eared turtle – which is its red-colored stripe on either side of its head. I will share some awesome knowledge about the sliders I have learned over time in this article. Here, you will know if the sliders are indeed solitary and if they will make good pets or not.

About the Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Sliders are ranked by Wiki as one of the most popular pet turtles in the United States, as well as other parts of the world. They are also known to be really good swimmers (their webbed feet make this possible).

These creatures are categorized as reptiles, and cold-blooded hence, they rely on external sources for warmth by basking out in the sun or burrowing into the earth as they are unable to internally regulate their body temperature (they will also burrow into the earth to hibernate during the winter).

Are Red Eared Sliders Social or Solitary?

The red-eared sliders are largely a solitary species with a mild temperament although this may change if they feel threatened or will grow aggressive when they are around food. Every red-eared slider turtle has its unique personality (which is another fascinating thing about them).

They tend to be more interactive with people such that one can even feed them by hand (this is only usually common with captive/pet sliders, the wild ones will only always try to get away from attention).

It is also common for them to hiss at people when they want to be left alone or they would usually withdraw back to their shells when they feel threatened; this is according to Redearslider.com

Pet education

PetCoach estimates the lifespan of the Red Eared Slider to be between 50 – 70 years when in the wild while those in captivity will live only for about 30 years; this means that it will be a long term commitment if I decide to care for one.

How do I House my Sliders?

As they are from the wild, it is important to design a shelter that mimics their natural habitat – which should be warm with a dry area where they can bask on a log or rock

Note: getting the shelter of the slider right will make a huge difference in how long they live.

red eared sliders being social

Can Two Red-eared Sliders Live Together? What To Consider

Yes! They can. However, there are certain things to consider and keep in mind. These factors include:

  • The sizes of the sliders and their age
  • Their sex

Their Sizes and Age

This is a very important factor to consider if two sliders are to be housed together. The sizes and ages of both sliders should be hand-in-hand. This way aggression and fighting is reduced.

Gender

Important to note that for sliders before they hit puberty, it can be very difficult to tell their gender apart. However, as they clock puberty, males tend to be more aggressive. This is just an instinctive fight for dominance. Females tend to get along just fine.

Keeping the Sliders as Pets

I earlier mentioned in this piece that the red-eared sliders are indeed fascinating creatures. If you are no different from me, one who is almost always away from home, then you should consider getting the slider as a pet. They demand less attention, unlike dogs or cats that require walks and a need to be fed frequently. They also do not demand much affection.

It is characteristic of the slider to hide inside its shell for days when brought to a new home. Feeding it continually will help it warm up more to whoever feeds it.

This brings me to the main reason for writing this article in the first place, are the red-eared slider turtles social or solitary?

Conclusion

If you have made up your mind to get a slider as a pet, then it is important to remind you once more that it is a lifelong commitment. You can not release them to the wild, they are known to be aggressive and destructive to other species (the only other option is to look for another home for them).

If you are an ardent animal lover, then this journey is most unlikely to leave you disappointed. It was Lawrence Anthony who said that “… all life forms are important to each other in our common quest for happiness and survival” (The Elephant Whisperer, 2009).

Related: When does a Red Eared Slider lay eggs?