How Long Do Painted Turtles Live

The painted turtles, also called Chrysemys picta, are adorable, quiet, and fascinating turtles to have as a pet. They possess several characteristics that make them one of the best pet turtles to raise. They live a reasonably long life, so this is an adorable pet that will be with you for a long time!

How Long Do Painted Turtles Live?

Painted turtles may live as long as 35 to 40 years in the wild. However, most of them will not survive for this long. Due to the risk of predators and illness, the lifespan of painted turtles in the wild is usually 10-15 years.

A painted turtle can live quite a long life in captivity. With proper care, the typical life span range for a painted turtle is 20 to 25 years in captivity. Their lifespan is influenced by the diet and care they receive.

The captive turtles can lead a healthy life if you have a proper painted turtle tank setup and properly maintain their environment. A healthy diet is also important to help them hit their life expectancy.

If you want to learn about what to feed a painted turtle, you should check out my article on Painted Turtle Diets.

Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Painted Turtle’s Lifespan?

Adult female painted turtles are slightly bigger than male ones. But this doesn’t have any impact on their lifespan. Painted turtles’ gender doesn’t affect their life expectancy.

What do painted turtles usually die from in captivity?

Painted turtles are a hardy turtle species. The common health problems in painted turtles include vitamin A deficiency, respiratory diseases, abscesses, shell infections and fractures, ear infections, and parasites.

  • Vitamin deficiency: When a painted turtle doesn’t get a proper diet it may develop a vitamin deficiency. Lack of vitamin D, proper UVB lighting, and calcium result in metabolic bone disease and shell deformities. They can also develop vitamin A deficiency that causes nasal drainage, raw skin, swollen eyes, and stomatitis.
  • Intestinal parasites: It is a common problem that affects painted turtles. An intestinal parasite can cause a variety of symptoms that can lead to serious health issues without treatment. Parasites usually enter the tank when you put something in the tank that was outside. For this reason, you should always thoroughly clean any object before you put it into your turtle tank.
  • Shell infections: It is also known as shell rot and is caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Affected shells will often have soft areas that may lift away from the rest of the shell. Some of these infections can penetrate deep into the layers of the shell, causing ulcers. If left untreated, it can spread into the bloodstream and internal organs.
  • Abscesses: In this condition, there are infected, pus-filled swellings that form within the ear canal pushing on the skin. It is easy to diagnose due to the obvious swelling on the sides of the turtle’s head. Abscesses in turtles can be the result of a vitamin A deficiency. The affected turtles stop eating and feel some discomfort.

Common signs of illness in painted turtles are:

  • Swollen eyes
  • Discoloration or open wounds on the skin
  • Bubbles coming from the nose
  • Inability to swim or breathe properly in water
  • Significant weight changes
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive basking

Most of the health problems in painted turtles is a result of dirty habitats and improper diet. If you suspect your painted turtle has a health issue, talk to your vet as soon as possible. You can learn more in my article about pet turtle diseases.

What Do Painted Turtles Usually Die From in the Wild?

While the painted turtle species is not declining, there are some regions that are experiencing a decline in painted turtle populations. Below are the main reasons that painted turtles die in the wild:

  • Habitat loss: An obvious threat to painted turtles comes from habitat loss or by drying wetlands. Even when water remains, the painted turtles may be impacted by the clearing of rocks that provide basking sites for females. Obviously, climate change has impacted painted turtles in regions where temperatures have significantly changed.
  • Roadkill: Another visible cause of death of painted turtles due to human impact is roadkill.
  • Predation: Young painted turtles are most vulnerable to predators. A variety of predators will capture painted turtles and their eggs. These predators include raccoons, chipmunks, crows, otters, badgers, foxes, and other medium-sized predators.
  • Introduction of non-native species: The introduction of non-native turtle species is another threat to the painted turtle. Red-eared sliders have been widely released in areas where painted turtles live. This results in increased competition for food.

Other factors of concern for the painted turtle include pollution, boating traffic, crushing by agricultural machines, or all-terrain vehicles.

Overall their populations are quite stable and are currently not at an extinction risk.

Interesting fact: Fossils show that the painted turtle even existed 15 million years ago!

Final Thoughts

We all want our painted turtles to live a long and healthy life. Your little guy can live for many years if it does not have serious health problems.

Let us know if you found this article helpful! If you have further questions about painted turtles, don’t hesitate to ask.

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