Thu 3 Jun 2010
This river turtle (or terrapin) was huge! I didn’t realise they got as big as this. It was a good 30cm long and obviously heavy — just look at the splash it made when it jumped in. The name “slider” indicates a gentle sliding into the water but this thing launched itself from the rock!
The red-eared slider is an invasive species in Japan and it has become a pest in ponds and rivers. These turtles are native to the southern USA and were first introduced to Japan as pets in the 1950s. When they are young they are relatively easy to keep but once they reach full size they are often released in ponds and rivers. They can live for 30 years or more.
Reptilia: Testudines: Emydidae
Trachemys scripta elegans
Red-eared slider = mishishippi-aka-mimi-game
Location: River Hikosan in Tagawa (map here)