Mississippi Map turtles get their names because the lines and markings on their carapace look similar to the contour lines on an elevation map. These turtles can be found from Illinois and Nebraska down into the Gulf States from Mississippi to Texas, usually in lakes, large streams, and rivers.
This article will look at what baby Mississippi map turtles eat and how to care for them. Continue reading to learn more about these fascinating creatures!
What Do Baby Mississippi Map Turtles Eat?
Baby Mississippi Map turtles should eat a mix of leafy vegetables, small insects and bugs, and commercial turtle pellets.
When it comes to their diet, Mississippi map turtles are omnivores. In captivity, most of their diet consists of floating aquatic turtle food, insects, and various aquatic plants. The following are the foods that are typically fed to baby Mississippi map turtles:
Leafy vegetables are the most important food for baby Mississippi Map turtles. Hatchlings and baby Mississippi map turtles should consume more plant matter than adults. They should be given some fresh, leafy vegetables or plants that have been cut into small pieces. Baby Mississippi map turtles thrive on dark, leafy greens such as romaine, kale, fresh parsley, collard greens, and dandelion greens.
Small insects and bugs
Mississippi Map turtles should also consume insects such as crickets. You can also feed them mealworms. Make sure the bugs are chopped into small enough pieces that your baby turtle can eat them.
You can feed your baby turtle high-quality commercial turtle pellets. I recommend that you look for pellets that are designed specifically for hatchlings and juvenile turtles. Pellets are intended to provide a good variety of nutrients and can be a good staple of their diet.
Because map turtles eat while swimming, their food should be regularly put in the water. This helps prevent them from choking on their food.
How often should you feed a Mississippi Map Turtle?
Baby Mississippi map turtles, like all baby turtles, should be fed twice a day for the first year, and then once a day or every other day for the following years.
Mississippi map turtle adults form large, muscular jaws due to their natural diet of hard-shelled snails and crayfish. They also consume a wide range of insects. Map turtles enjoy freeze-dried shrimp and krill as a treat. These are sold at most pet stores with tropical fish food and supplies.
Map turtles consume insects, crustaceans, and fish as part of their carnivorous diet, but they should avoid fatty fish, such as goldfish. Instead, choose larger, higher protein foods. Their diet should include plant-based foods such as formulated turtle pellets and fresh greens. Fresh, chopped apple pieces can also be offered as treats but should not constitute a significant portion of your turtle’s diet.
To prevent captive turtles from becoming obese, feed them whatever they eat in less than six minutes. They will usually eat in the morning or afternoon when they are most active.
Mississippi Map Turtle Habitat
If you want an aquatic turtle that swims a lot, Mississippi map turtles make excellent pets. They are suitable for experienced turtle keepers and should not be kept by children. Mississippi map turtles require much attention and care and even more for babies. Because they are very skittish creatures, they require a safe environment.
Even though the Mississippi map turtle doesn’t quite grow as big as other species, it still needs a large and deep tank habitat. You should have at least a 40 gallon tank.
Since their natural habitat is usually any heavy vegetaged areas, I suggest that you add some plants for your turtle tank. If you need help choosing some, you can check out my article on the best plants for turtle tanks.
For their habitats, Mississippi map turtles must always be able to flee to deep water if they are startled. Like all aquatic turtles, Mississippi map turtles require clean water in their tanks. They are easily startled creatures and can quickly become ill from stress. Aquarium maintenance procedures such as lighting, water changes, and a focus on filtration and water flow are of utmost importance when caring for Mississippi map turtles.
To add on, Mississippi map turtles are nervous and shy turtles that dislike being handled excessively. This is why they must be kept away from children. They are “look at me” pets, so they shouldn’t be touched frequently. Mississippi map turtles also have strong jaws designed to crush river snails and crustaceans, so keep your fingers away from the head.
We hope that this article helped you learn what to feed your baby Mississippi map turtle. In general, baby Mississippi map turtles must be given more greens than any other food. Early on, giving them the proper diet can help them become healthy and strong in their adult years.