Exotic Red-eared Slider Turtle or Australian Native Turtle?
The exotic Red-eared slider turtle poses a serious threat to Victoria's environment. They are a very adaptable and opportunistic invasive animal that competes with native turtles for food, basking sites, nesting sites and suitable habitat.
Red-eared slider turtles are occasionally found in the wild in Victoria so it is essential that all sightings or information on the illegal keeping is reported to our Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email reports and digital photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red-eared slider turtles can be easily confused for the native Australian Turtles – Eastern Long-necked (Chelodina longicollis) or Murray river short-necked (Emydura macquarii).
There are however some distinct differences. Before making your report use this information to check the features of the specimen you have sighted and compare the prominent identification characteristics that set native Australian turtles apart from the exotic Red-eared slider turtle.
If still in doubt, email photographs to email@example.com, or contact our Customer Service Centre on 136 186, with details of the animal, and a member of staff will contact you.
Red-eared slider turtles retract their head straight back into their shell.
The underside of the red-eared slider turtle is bright yellow with black rings, blotches and swirls marking each of the 12 segments.
Eastern long-necked turtles tuck their neck to one side underneath their shell (i)
The underside of the Eastern long-necked turtle is cream-pale yellow with broad black lines marking the 13 segments (ii)
Murray river short-necked turtle
Average adult length 30 -40 cm. They have a short, bulky head and neck that is grey in colour. They have a distinctive single cream-yellow strip marking the head and face from the jaw line.
The topside of their shell is pale dark grey in colour with a distinctive flattened lip around the outside. The shell can be stained or covered in green algae or mud.
The underside of their shell is a pale creamy yellow colour with 13 visible segments.
Their feet are extensively webbed between the toes. They tuck their neck to one side underneath their shell when threatened.
i) Ian Sutton from Collinsville and Oberon, Australia [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
ii) Arthur Chapman [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
iii) OzinOH [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]