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Three-Striped Mud Turtles: BOLD & PINSTRIPE

Discussion in 'Water turtles' started by Pastel Tortie, Jan 19, 2019.

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  1. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I decided to start this thread to document the growth and progress of two three-striped mud turtles. I have already seen a few antics out of one of them, so I hope you will enjoy them too.
  2. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    In late August 2018, the humans in my household went to the National Reptile Breeders Expo. It was a hot, humid day and a long day trip from North Florida to Daytona Beach and back, but it was well worth the drive.

    We knew we would be getting a bearded dragon. The youngest biped and I had been plotting and planning that for a good year or more. He had saved up for an entire year, while his dad and I shopped around for sales on the enclosure and equipment. Anyway, the kid has excellent taste. We took home an awesome dragon.

    My other half and I had figured our chances were about 50/50 that we would be coming home with more than one critter. So our other livestock purchase wasn't "planned," so much as "contingency planned." (Meaning we knew we had enough equipment and enclosure related items at home that we could easily set up another turtle habitat. Just in case.)

    Well, I had been reading up on several species of turtles (and lurking on the forum), researching potential future chelonian acquisitions. Kinosternon baurii has appealed to me for a few years now.

    All things considered, it wasn't TOO much of a surprise that we ended up purchasing a couple K. baurii (three-striped mud turtle) hatchlings before we headed back home.

    This is what they looked like when we got them.
    WP_20180819_09_32_44_Pro.jpg WP_20180819_09_34_13_Pro.jpg WP_20180819_09_54_55_Pro.jpg
  3. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    The only easy way to tell them apart at first was by looking at their carapace stripes. We started calling the one with thin, uniform stripes Pinstripe. The other we called Bold Stripe. For the most part, those names stuck.

    The name Bold Stripe got shortened to Bold because that describes this young three-striped mud turtle's personality.
    Ray--Opo, Moozillion, CarolM and 2 others like this.
  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Baby mud turtles are the cutest!
  5. cdmay

    cdmay Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    Cool story. My wife and I were there too.
    Three striped muddies are the turtles of my childhood.
    As for the different striping that is completely normal.
    Check around on this site for info about them.
  6. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    The first month or two with the three-striped mud turtle hatchlings went smoothly. Bold and Pinstripe lived in a large Herp Havens Breeder Box on the bathroom counter. They were in the same overall container, but we used the divider to keep them separate. Both the divider and the sides are clear acrylic, so they could see through.

    From what I've read, hatchling three-striped mud turtles are a bit of a drowning risk, so we kept them in very conservative housing to start with.
    WP_20180823_08_44_46_Pro.jpg
    WP_20180823_08_46_22_Pro.jpg
    WP_20180823_08_53_39_Pro.jpg

    We took Bold and Pinstripe out of their enclosure to feed them, small meals a couple times a day. The orange plastic ramekins in the pictures came from the dollar store (in a set of 3 for $1).
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  7. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    For anyone reading this thread, wanting to incorporate a good commercial turtle pellet into a mud turtle or box turtle hatchling's diet, we have learned a good bit from Bold and Pinstripe, as well as their distant relative, Junior (now a yearling Gulf Coast box turtle) from when she was a hatchling.

    Their individual appetites and food preferences change without warning, so it's a good idea to keep a few different brands on hand. We've had really good luck with the ReptoMin Pro Juvenile Turtle pellets and the Omega One Juvenile Turtle pellets. While their willingness to eat varies, all three turtles find them palatable.

    Early on with Junior (the GCBT), my first turtle, I picked up a container of the ZooMed Natural Aquatic Turtle Food - Hatchling Formula. The pellets are dark brown and super tiny. In retrospect, I probably made a mistake in getting an 8 oz container instead of shopping around for a much smaller one. I underestimated how fast Junior would grow. The ZM Hatchling Formula is labeled for turtles up to 2 inches, which Junior reached in no time. Then the super tiny pellets were no longer worth her effort to bother with. I upgraded her to the ZM Natural Aquatic Turtle Juvenile Turtle Formula, which has better sized pellets for her, and which she eats periodically.

    We had barely made a dent (if that) in the super tiny ZM hatchling pellets in the 8 oz container. So I sealed the container tightly and stored it in a cool, dry, dark place. It was still in good condition a year later when I got it back out for the mud turtle hatchlings. (They both have eaten it, but Bold much more than Pinstripe, who barely touches commercial food. This pellet is probably Bold's favorite.)

    For all three turtles, the ReptoMin Pro Juvenile turtle pellets were the easiest ones to eat. They soften quickly in water, yet hold together long enough for the turtle to eat them. Being short sticks (maybe half the size of the regular ReptoMin sticks), they make a much better target for clumsy little hatchlings. The hatchlings are more likely to get at least part of the "short stick" pellet when they bite at it, where with smaller ball-shaped pellets, the hatchling may miss the pellet completely.

    The Omega One Juvenile Turtle pellets are basically round and a brick red color. However, these pellets are somewhat larger than the ZM hatchling pellets, and even our yearling GCBT is still willing to bother with eating them. The mud turtle hatchlings also find them palatable. (Right now, this is the commercial food pellet that Pinstripe is most likely to eat, at those times when he actually eats commercial pellets.)
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  8. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    To give you an idea of growth rates, these pictures are from early September 2018.

    In the picture with both turtles, Bold is on the right. Pinstripe is on the left.
    WP_20180909_14_57_19_Pro.jpg

    This one is a another view of Pinstripe.
    WP_20180909_14_56_04_Pro.jpg

    This one (below) is from late September 2018.

    Again, Bold is on the right, and Pinstripe is on the left.
    WP_20180925_20_15_42_Pro.jpg
    If you look closely, you can see where Bold was already showing a little growth at the scute margins.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  9. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    @cdmay - I'm so glad you're back on the forum! I've been reading up on three-striped mud turtles, both here and elsewhere, and I think you have provided some of the most useful husbandry information for this species. :D
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  10. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I know that with any species or in any population, individual results will vary. However, having two representatives of K. baurii, I find myself wondering what the range of normal actually is for this species.

    Bold and Pinstripe were purchased from the same breeder at the same time, although there's no indication they were in the same clutch or even came from the same female. They started out the same size and weight, with neither showing any noticeable growth at the scute margins.

    Bold and Pinstripe have had remarkably different growth rates. In four or five months, they have gone from the same size to Bold now being 0.5 inches longer SCL than Pinstripe. Half an inch may not sound like a lot, until you see what that means for a hatchling mud turtle.

    WP_20181210_21_55_07_Pro.jpg

    wp_ss_20190106_0001.png
    The bottom picture is fairly recent, from a supervised swim. It's the first time they've been together (without a divider) since they came home.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  11. cdmay

    cdmay Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    That's very nice of you to say. Thanks!
  12. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I weighed and measured the three-striped muds over the weekend, and the growth difference is amazing!

    Pinstripe is 1.25 inches SCL and weighed 8 grams.

    Bold measured 1 and 15/16 inches (just a smidge under 2") SCL and weighed 26 grams.

    For all intents and purposes, they started out the same size and weight in late August 2018. Yet five months later, the difference in size is incredible.

    @cdmay Are both of these turtles growing at a "normal" rate? Not that I know what normal is... :)
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  13. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Moozillion, CarolM and Pastel Tortie like this.
  14. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Their plastrons will tell you whether they're muds or musks. Musk turtles have one hinge, and it may not be well defined. Muds have two hinges on the plastron. Don't worry about the hinges being functional, just look for the lines (where the scutes line up) on the plastron.

    To identify the species (or subspecies, depending), we're going to need a good picture of the head. The stripes on the head should provide some good clues.
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  15. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Moozillion likes this.
  16. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    No I've text with no response. I'll try again tomorrow.
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  17. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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  18. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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    They are just adorable! I had not noticed your thread before but I’m on the look out now:). I don’t know anything about water turtles but I have the two sulcatas that were supposedly from the same clutch. They are vastly different In size 9 months later...
  19. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I really don't actually lol. I already have to wake up 45 minutes earlier for work to get everyone fed and watered before I start my day.
  20. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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    You know you luv it!!!
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