Why won't my Emydura subglobosa bask?

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tglazie

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I bought this one hatchling Emydura subglobosa (New Guinea Pink Bellied Sideneck/Shortneck) at a herp show a few months back. I picked him because he was the most robust and responsive. I get the fella home in his new tank, a twenty gallon long with dual fluval filters and a nice, bright basking light under which I've raised countless red ears, yellow bellies, cooters, and even some Ocadia sinensis (Golden thread turtles, a beautiful but highly aggressive species, in my experience).

Now, I've read conflicting reports about these guys. Highfield, in his '95 book, says they bask. However, Carl Ernst, in his '78 book said they don't. I've seen pictures of these critters, lined up along logs and banks both in the wild and in various captive situations, seemingly basking. But I get this guy into his tank, and several weeks go by, and I have never caught him basking, not once. He's an exceptional swimmer, and he eats like a champ (swimming to the tank's edge at the sight of me with the trout pellets or dried tubifex). But he simply does not bask. And when he isn't hungry and begging for food, he's nervous and given to hiding. Interestingly, every red ear, painted turtle, golden thread turtle, or cooter I've ever had swims against the walls of the tank, apparently incapable of grasping the limits of the glass. This guy seems to acknowledge those limits just fine. He never swims up against it.

Is this species specific behavior I'm observing, or are these attributes perhaps more unique than that. I'm wondering what the experiences of others have been with this particular species. Any shared stories would be appreciated.

T.G.
 

Moozillion

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I don't know anything about side-necks, but after I saw your post I googled them! Now ANOTHER turtle to add to my wish list!!! They sure look and sound INTERESTING!!! :)
 

Gerards

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tglazie said:
I bought this one hatchling Emydura subglobosa (New Guinea Pink Bellied Sideneck/Shortneck) at a herp show a few months back. I picked him because he was the most robust and responsive. I get the fella home in his new tank, a twenty gallon long with dual fluval filters and a nice, bright basking light under which I've raised countless red ears, yellow bellies, cooters, and even some Ocadia sinensis (Golden thread turtles, a beautiful but highly aggressive species, in my experience).

Now, I've read conflicting reports about these guys. Highfield, in his '95 book, says they bask. However, Carl Ernst, in his '78 book said they don't. I've seen pictures of these critters, lined up along logs and banks both in the wild and in various captive situations, seemingly basking. But I get this guy into his tank, and several weeks go by, and I have never caught him basking, not once. He's an exceptional swimmer, and he eats like a champ (swimming to the tank's edge at the sight of me with the trout pellets or dried tubifex). But he simply does not bask. And when he isn't hungry and begging for food, he's nervous and given to hiding. Interestingly, every red ear, painted turtle, golden thread turtle, or cooter I've ever had swims against the walls of the tank, apparently incapable of grasping the limits of the glass. This guy seems to acknowledge those limits just fine. He never swims up against it.

Is this species specific behavior I'm observing, or are these attributes perhaps more unique than that. I'm wondering what the experiences of others have been with this particular species. Any shared stories would be appreciated.

T.G.

I have about 100 of them and none of them bask, outside or inside. I have seen some up sometimes but usually they just stay in the water or holding on to floating vegetation. I should have some albinos hatching in a few months, hopefully.
 

theTurtleRoom

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Gerards said:
I have about 100 of them and none of them bask, outside or inside. I have seen some up sometimes but usually they just stay in the water or holding on to floating vegetation. I should have some albinos hatching in a few months, hopefully.

My experience is not as vast as Gerards with this species, but any of them I have known have tended to be on the shy side. They will occasionally bask, but are exceptionally skittish when doing so and will quickly startle into the water. My buddy's group can be heard splashing into the water as soon as we open the basement door.

The times I have seen them "basking" and not startle back into the water, they've often been really doing one of the following:

Hiding in the sand for the heck of it
Considering the possibility of digging a nest
More scared of something else in the water than they are of you (at least for the time being)
 

Cherbear

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I used to have 3 of them, and only one would bask, but rarely.
 
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