Red Eared Terrapin (Non-native)

Trechemys scripta elegans

Red eared terrapins can grow to 40cm, have a strong bite and can live for 40 years. These traits have made it a difficult pet and unfortunately they are now common across the UK due to there deliberate release.

The red eared terrapin is easily recognised by the red stripe down the side of the head.

They are most often found in urban lakes (for example Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells and at Leybourne Lakes near Snodland) however they have also been spotted basking on rocks by the Medway.  There is some debate about if red eared terrapins breed in the UK as summers here may not be warm enough, but given the average length of life, climate change may induce breeding of this alien species soon. They will eat a variety of native flora and fauna.


Have you seen a Red Eared Terrapin (Non-native) in Kent?

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Distribution in Kent