Coastal Plain Cooter (Pseudemys concinna floridana)

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Coastal Plain Cooter
Pseudemys concinna floridana
Coastal Plain Cooter (Pseudemys concinna floridana)
Name Coastal Plain Cooter
Name Lat. Pseudemys concinna floridana
Family Pond Turtles & Box Turtles
Family lat. Emydidae
Order Turtles
Order lat. Testudines
Origin SE-USA
Habitat Rivers, ponds
Diet Fish, insects, plants
Humidity 50-80 %
Behavior ♂ semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, harem
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Aquaterrarium
Life Span 25-30 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 30-40 cm
Temperature 25-28 °C
Temperature Local 35-40 °C
Housing Size 200 x 80 x 70 cm
US Units
Size 12"-16"
Temperature 77-82 °F
Temperature Local 95-104 °F
Housing Size 80" x 30" x 30"

Distribution and habitat

The diurnal Florida ornate turtles are widespread in the southeastern United States, from southern Virginia to Florida. There they live in slowly flowing waters, but also in oxbows, lakes and ponds with dense vegetation.


Minimum dimensions for the aquaterrarium, according to the size and number of animals

floor space for 1-2 animals: 5PL x 2,5PL (L x W) Water level: 2PB

The carapace length (PL) and carapace width (PB) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 10%, and for the 5th animal and larger, increase the footprint by 20%. An aquaterrarium of e.g. L 200 x W 80 x H 60 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place.

The water part, with a soft, muddy substrate, should be structured with roots, aquatic plants and larger stones (visibility barriers and hiding places), some of which reach the water surface. For this purpose, they need a terrestrial part (approx. 1/3 of the bottom surface) for drying, which is equipped with a soft, muddy-sandy bottom substrate, with plants and roots as well as with sunning places. To maintain water quality, a powerful filter with low flow is recommended, as well as frequent water changes.

Water Temp lighting Sunny
Summer 25-28 °C 12-14 hrs. 35-40 °C
Winter (2-3 months) 12-18 °C 8-10 hrs

They need daily UV irradiation and sunny places with radiant heat.


Juveniles feed mainly on animal food, whereas adults feed mainly on plant food. The food supply consists of insect larvae, earthworms, meal beetle larvae, fish pieces, supplemented with pelleted or freeze-dried ready-made food. Frozen food is also well accepted. In addition, they absolutely need vegetable food, such as lettuce, dandelion, endive, and water plants (e.g. waterweed). Adults should be offered animal food no more than twice a week. It is important to regularly add minerals and vitamins.

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males are usually much smaller and have straight elongated front claws and a longer tail than females. The anal opening of the male is closer to the tip of the tail.

A small, sandy patch of land is necessary for oviposition (1-17 eggs). Incubation period is 66-114 days at a temperature of 23-30 °C.


They stay mainly in the water and usually come ashore only to sunbathe.

In summer, the animals can be kept in an outdoor facility.

Winter hibernation can be in water or earth-moist substrate.

In order not to distort the native fauna, they must not be released into the wild under any circumstances.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species-specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Christian Sänger; Image: Stephan Böhm

Source: BMELV (1997): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag; ROGNER (2009): Taschenatlas Schildkröten, Verlag Ulmer

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF