How Water Turtles Breed

How Water Turtles Breed

Captive breeding

Breeding turtles in captivity is not always easy, however, if you want to achieve this, you can try.

Suitable breeding age.
For breeding, it is best to use young animals so that during pregnancy there are no serious problems leading to dystocia (delayed egg laying) in females and other pathologies. For turtles, determining the time of puberty depends not so much on age as on size, while in captivity, for certain reasons, animals can grow much faster than in nature, which means they reach puberty much earlier. For example, the red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta) reaches puberty at a size of 11.12 cm (males) and 15 cm (females).

Sex determination in aquatic and semi-aquatic species.
In most species of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles, sex is difficult to determine, and often only a specialist can do it. In aquatic turtles, color differences between males and females may be decisive. for example, stripes on the head and other color features may differ by gender. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to notice even these differences without proper experience.

Size of females and their sex appeal.
If in groups there are several females per male at once, then many males usually prefer the largest of them. This pattern is true for many aquatic species. The consequence of this may be a strong discrepancy in the size of partners. At the same time, females of suitable sizes can be completely ignored. Given this feature, just in case you need to remove too large females from the group.

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Temporary separation of partners.
Activity in breeding groups may periodically drop. To stimulate it, you can use the temporary separation of males from females for a period of several days to several weeks. This technique has proven to be quite effective for most aquatic species.

Sexual behavior of aquatic species.
Details of sexual behavior vary significantly among different species of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles, but it must be remembered that during the breeding season, animals must be monitored for possible aggression. Aquatic and semi-aquatic species are especially active during the breeding season, males have long claws on their forepaws, and the jaws are much more powerful than their terrestrial relatives, so for many species of such turtles it is advisable to plant males to females, and not vice versa, to avoid injuries. On foreign territory males are less aggressive.

In aquatic and semi-aquatic species, the likelihood of injury during courtship is very high. Males can inflict very significant bites on females. Carapax often collapses during strokes, which provokes the occurrence of such an often encountered disease as ulcerative damage to the carapace, often leading to septicemia. Numerous bite wounds of the limbs, neck and head, which are then often infected, also lead to septicemia. In all cases, the affected animals must be placed in separate aquatorrariums until they are fully recovered.

In most aquatic species, mating most often occurs under water. Male turtles during mating can bite the heads of females with their powerful jaws, again causing injury. At the end of sexual behavior, partners can be seated, especially if you notice that the female is pregnant.

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The behavior of females before masonry.
In the period before the laying of eggs in turtles, certain changes in behavior are observed, characterized by a decrease or loss of appetite and the occurrence of territorial behavior. Often, females begin to dig soil, drive other animals out of their territory, become restless, and may even lose weight.

The diagnosis can be confirmed using the methods of x-ray and ultrasound. Using these methods, you can not only establish pregnancy, but even determine the number and size of eggs. Currently, these techniques are widely available and do not pose a problem. They can be of great help in controlling the situation.

In case of pregnancy, it is necessary to provide the females with all the necessary conditions.

The place for laying should be filled with appropriate soil. It is better to leave the female away from relatives and leave alone. You can even completely isolate it from possible irritants using a curtain. The temperature in the terrarium and the humidity level at this time must be controlled very tightly.

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