Pink-bellied Sideneck a.k.a Emydura subglubosa
The pink belly sideneck is a beautiful turtle hailing from the tropical waterways of Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is known for having colorful yellow markings on its head, and of course for having a bright pink plastron, hence the name “pink-belly”. This is a medium to large sized turtle, with adult animals having a shell length of 8-14 inches, (males staying smaller). These are very peculiar animals as they do not retract their head into their shell like the conventional turtle. Instead, they tuck it to the side when frightened. This is a great community tank turtle, although being shy in nature, and makes a wonderful and eye-catching addition to any household.
Pink Belly Sideneck Care
Pink belly sidenecks eat a variety of foods such as fish, shrimp, mollusks and pellets. Turtles can be offered food everyday, or at least three times a week. For 1 to 3 babies, a 10 gallon aquarium works for the first year with a water level about the height of your index finger. It is recommended to upgrade tank size to 10 gallons per inch of shell length. These turtles can also be housed in a kiddie pool or stock tank as adults. Internal filters work well for babies, and canister filters can be used for larger tanks as the turtles age. Bi-weekly water changes should be done to keep things clean and it is also recommended to run a filter rated above the gallon size of the tank due to turtles being very messy compared to other aquatic animals. Turtles require a basking area where they can completely dry out and bask under heat and UVB (keep basking temperatures at around 90-95). Turtles are not picky, so anything from bricks, wood, or a turtle dock works for them. Water temperature can remain at ambient room temperature, about 76-80 degrees. Sand or gravel can be used as substrate, as long as the pieces are larger than the turtles’ heads, as to prevent choking hazards.
Pink belly side-necks are readily available captive bred, as they have become a very popular animal among turtle hobbyists. As said before, they are excellent tank turtles and do not mind the company of similar sized turtles and fish. It is also important to have a plan to keep this animal long term. Turtles as a whole have become one of the most neglected pets, and have become invasive in many parts of the world due to neglectful ownership. Under no circumstance should pets be released into the wild, as the species may not be native to the area and may be harmed, or cause harm to the ecosystem.