Hey my fellow turtle lovers. I just purchased a baby RES. It's very active and smart for me to own it for only 2 weeks. It's eating here and there, but for the most part moves around freely. It's gotten a little bigger since I first got it. I got a 20 gallon (76 liters) tank, UV light, heater, filter, dock and thermometer. My issue is it's shell, should it look like this?

Backside of the turtle

Front of the turtle

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    I would hint to this turtle: zierschildkroete.de/artbestimmung-wasserschildkroeten/… but one need to know the belly pattern, the shell pattern and the head pattern to identify a turtle. Look through the pictures, then you may find your turtles kind. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 6:36
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    Welcome to pets! Please take the tour and have a look at the help center. Can you please clarify what exactly seems wrong with his shell or how you would expect it to look? Do you believe it has a medical issue or are you uncertain that it's actually a RES? Please edit your post to clarify.
    – Elmy
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 7:25
  • Oh no, I'll take a better picture of it then. My concern is that it's shell is pyramiding. Since I upgraded my water heater and purchased a uv light it's been eating now everytime, at first it wasn't. I think the water was to cold. I'm uploading better pictures now. Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 3:39
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    Rotwangen Schmuckschildkröte is RES. This Site is in German Language, I do not have found one near as good in english until now. So sorry for this. You have the same picture as last time... It would help to see the pattern (stripes and colors) of the shell, the belly and the head. As I know RES, they have flat borders between the scales. Yours shell looks more like Graptemys (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graptemys) Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 5:13
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    zierschildkroete.de/wp-content/uploads/… This one is a Graptemys and has a red stripe on its cheek, like RES Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


How you could read here RES shell looks like this: "The carapace is oval and flattened (especially in the male) and has a weak keel that is more pronounced in the young." So this is normal in young turtles of RES.

But if I should guess, it could also be a Cumberland slider. Because they are easy to confuse with each other, especially in young years. The Cumberland slider has a more visible keel than the RES. The adults have a very similar pattern on shell and skin, but the Cumberland slider has a yellow-brownish stripe, where the RES has its red one. But the trap: when they are young, the Cumberland slider has a red-orange-brown stripe, which is easy to confuse with the red one of RES.

But it changes nothing in the feeding, or the habitat. So you could wait for the stripe to disclose the secret :)

[... RES and Cumberland slider...] are omnivores and eat a wide variety of aquatic plants, many invertebrates and, to a lesser extent, vertebrates. While the proportion of animal food predominates in young animals, fully-grown Trachemys scripta mostly eat plants. Algae, leaves, stems, roots, fruits and seeds are eaten as food from plants. Larger vertebrates are actively hunted, and smaller vertebrates are also taken in unintentionally when they eat plants. If fish, frogs and other vertebrates are eaten, they are usually in the form of carrion; they are seldom self-hunted animals (PARMENTER & AVERY 1990).

Translated, original from www.zierschildkroete.de

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