African Sideneck Turtle: Footage, Information, Eating regimen & Care Information

African side neck turtle swimming

The African Sideneck turtle is adored by many turtle house owners attributable to their distinctive look. The attention-grabbing form of the African Sideneck turtle’s mouth makes it appear to be they’re perpetually smiling. When you’ve had your eye on the African Sideneck turtle for some time and are contemplating one as a pet, preserve studying under to study extra about them.

Dimension: 7–12 inches
Weight: 1.5 kilos
Lifespan: 20 years
Appropriate for: House owners who need an entertaining turtle, households with a number of African Sideneck turtles, first-time turtle house owners, skilled turtle house owners
Temperament: Hardy, lively, curious, and undemanding

The African Sideneck turtle has a brown shell with olive-brown pores and skin. They’ve black markings on their heads and spherical eyes that many discover charming. In contrast to many different turtles, they tuck their head into their aspect moderately than tucking it into their shell. The African Sideneck turtle will be the excellent match if you would like a singular pet.

They’ve average care wants, making them nice for still-learning learners and practiced house owners. Earlier than deciding to undertake an African Sideneck, just be sure you take an in-depth take a look at their care wants by this text. These turtles can stay for many years, so they’re a long-term dedication.

African Sideneck Turtle Traits

How A lot Do These Turtles Value?

The African Sideneck turtle originates from a number of international locations within the western a part of Africa. They’ve been present in Angola, Guinea, Liberia, and Senegal, however they’ve additionally been noticed within the Congo in Central Africa and Madagascar. Seychelles (a series of small islands within the Indian Ocean) and Yemen additionally report the presence of African Sideneck turtles.

They stay in rivers, ponds, and lakes since they’re semi-aquatic and stay in freshwater habitats. Sometimes, the African Sideneck turtle thrives in nonetheless our bodies of water, particularly ones with muddy bottoms and a powerful vegetation presence.

The African Sideneck turtle isn’t often too tough to search out and is comparatively widespread. Attain out to your native pet retailer and see if they’ve an African Sideneck turtle obtainable to take dwelling. In the event that they do, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay a median of $50–$100 to your pet.

Earlier than buying a turtle, guarantee you might have the assets to cowl the upfront bills. This features a appropriate tank, water, filtration, meals, lighting, heating, and extra. These bills can rapidly add up, so chances are you’ll want to save cash earlier than bringing your African Sideneck turtle dwelling.

african sideneck turtle
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African Sideneck Turtle Habits

Many individuals discover the African Sideneck to be extremely entertaining. At first, they could be a bit shy, however ultimately, they may heat as much as you. These little creatures are curious and lively and are a delight to look at. They’re comparatively easy to look after and have undemanding natures, making them wonderful pets for brand new and skilled turtle house owners.

The African Sideneck turtle’s curiosity can typically get them into hassle. Their curiosity can develop into so intense that it verges on aggression. They will additionally develop into aggressive with different African Sideneck turtles; nevertheless, this happens most frequently when consuming or mating. Likewise, their aggression could also be attributable to their dwelling circumstances being suboptimal. Even so, the African Sideneck turtle is just not identified to be particularly aggressive with people.

The one time an African Sideneck turtle could behave aggressively towards a human is that if they’re being mishandled. Poor dealing with can frighten and even harm the African Sideneck turtle, and so they could lash out consequently. Due to this fact, inexperienced turtle house owners are discouraged from dealing with the African Sideneck turtle too typically till they’ve mastered the correct method.

Do These Turtles Make Good Pets?

The African Sideneck turtle is a superb pet. They’re entertaining, curious, and undemanding, so many turtle house owners get pleasure from having these turtles round. As talked about earlier than, the African Sideneck turtle can typically show aggression towards individuals, however that’s primarily attributable to poor dealing with.

African Sideneck Turtle Breed Tank Mates

These turtles can get alongside nicely with different African Sideneck turtles. A number of African Sideneck turtles might be housed collectively; nevertheless, you shouldn’t do it in the event you aren’t ready for a clutch of eggs to seem.

African Sideneck turtles can stay with different turtle species, and a few have been identified to stay with bigger fish. Nonetheless, watch out about housing the African Sideneck turtle with small fish; small fish are a part of a turtle’s common food regimen.

Your African Sideneck turtle ought to by no means be launched to canines, cats, or different bigger animals. Introducing these animals can place important stress in your African Sideneck turtle, resulting in sickness.

Care Sheet & Habitat Setup:

Gentle Necessities

African Sideneck turtles require a UVB gentle that stays on a cycle of 12 hours. This 12-hour cycle mimics the shift between day and evening, which helps your turtle obtain a correct quantity of UVB and vitamin D. In consequence, your African Sideneck turtle can correctly synthesize calcium.

heat lamp
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Tank Dimension

As an aquatic turtle, the African Sideneck turtle requires water entry of their tank. At a minimal, it is best to present a tank that holds 75 gallons. Half to three-quarters of this tank ought to be stuffed with water. Rectangular tanks are preferrred, and the form gives extra room to your turtle to swim. If the tank is just too lengthy and slender, your turtle gained’t have as a lot area to maneuver round.

Ensure that there’s an space in your tank for dry land. The African Sideneck turtle wants area to bask and dry off after a swim; with out it, they gained’t have the ability to regulate their physique temperature correctly.

When you plan to accommodate a number of African Sideneck turtles collectively, it’s essential to present a good bigger tank to make sure they don’t really feel threatened by one another’s presence.

Water Temperature

Monitoring the temperature of the water is a necessary a part of caring to your turtle. For the African Sideneck turtle, a correct aquatic temperature vary is between 70° and 75° Fahrenheit.

red eared slider turtles in tank with filter
Picture Credit score: TIPAKORN MAKORNSEN, Shutterstock


Adorning your turtle’s enclosure is important for his or her psychological stimulation and delight. Utilizing decorations to imitate your African Sideneck turtle’s pure habitat is an effective way to make them really feel at dwelling. Plastic crops, driftwood, and rocks are good selections for spicing up the enclosure; simply make sure to keep away from rocks with sharp edges or rocks which might be sufficiently small to your turtle to swallow.

African Sideneck turtles want locations to burrow or relaxation beneath, so present a shady spot to your pet beneath driftwood or a hidey-hole. As for crops, a combination of synthetic and stay crops is ok to your pet. The African Sideneck turtle will get pleasure from an abundance of vegetation, so don’t neglect to fill their tank with crops.


Massive items of pebble or gravel could make wonderful substrates for the aquatic components of your African Sideneck turtle’s tank. For the land portion, sand is a wonderfully pure alternative. Once more, keep away from substrates with sharp edges, which can hurt your turtle.


Filtration is crucial to making sure the standard of your turtle’s setting and well being. A filter with a move fee of round 350 gallons per hour is ample for the African Sideneck turtle’s tank. Along with correct filtering, just be sure you change the water in your pet’s tank continuously. Altering it each few days or so is an efficient guideline to comply with.

Issues to Know When Proudly owning an African Sideneck Turtle:

When you assume which you could look after the African Sideneck turtle, there are a number of extra issues it is best to know earlier than you make the dedication. Along with your turtle’s habitat care, you additionally want to fulfill their meals and food regimen necessities. Moreover, you have to to pay attention to the correct measurement of an African Sideneck turtle and the common lifespan and customary well being circumstances to be careful for.

Meals & Eating regimen Necessities

The African Sideneck is an omnivore within the wild and is designed to eat plant and animal supplies. Your turtle will fortunately munch on the crops, bugs, and fish they encounter. Since they may eat practically something they arrive throughout, it’s your job to make sure your pet receives a balanced food regimen. A wide range of meals is important to your turtle’s well being and well-being.

Whereas your turtle continues to be rising, they may eat primarily bugs. Nonetheless, as they mature, their food regimen will shift to plant-based supplies. Some crops you’ll be able to feed your African Sideneck turtle embody spinach, romaine, and red-leaf lettuce. Collard greens, dandelions, and blended greens are additionally good choices.

As for animal-based supplies, deal with earthworms, clams, snails, fish, and aquatic bugs. You may also feed your turtle plain-cooked chicken, plain-cooked beef hearts, crustaceans, and small amphibians.

A bowl of spinach on the table
Picture Credit score: Ponce_photography, Pixabay

Dimension & Progress Chart

Sometimes, the feminine African Sideneck turtle is bigger than the male. Feminine African Sideneck turtles develop to be round 7–12 inches, whereas the males develop to round 7–10 inches. Females even have longer shell our bodies than males, which is why they have an inclination to develop bigger.

Lifespan and Well being Circumstances

On common, the African Sideneck turtle can stay 20 years. Within the wild, the African Sideneck turtle has been noticed dwelling for so long as 30 years. Some reviews counsel that this turtle can stay as a lot as 50 years in captivity. Caring for this pet is a lifetime dedication, so be sure to are as much as the duty earlier than you carry one dwelling.

A few of the commonest well being circumstances the African Sideneck turtle experiences embody dehydration, malnutrition, and parasites. These points might be largely averted in the event you monitor your turtle’s food and water consumption and preserve their enclosure in good situation. In case your turtle is experiencing any of those circumstances and you’re not sure why, attain out to your vet instantly.

Male vs Feminine

Be cautious of preserving women and men collectively since they may reproduce. You’ll be able to decide in case your African Sideneck turtle is sexually lively by realizing their age. If in case you have a male African Sideneck turtle, he will probably be sexually mature when he reaches 3–5 years of age. As for a feminine, she is going to attain sexual maturity round 5–7 years outdated.

african sideneck turtle in white background
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3 Little-Identified Information About African Sideneck Turtle

1. Presently, There Are Not Any Formally Acknowledged Subspecies of the African Sideneck Turtle.

2. Because the African Sideneck Turtle Is Just like the African Helmeted Turtle, Their Names Are Usually Interchanged.

3. One other Identify for the African Sideneck Turtle Is the West African Mud Turtle.

Ultimate Ideas

The African Sideneck turtle is a singular pet that’s appropriate for first-time house owners and skilled ones. In case you are one of many many who’ve been lured in by this magnificent turtle, just be sure you can present every part listed on this article earlier than bringing the African Sideneck turtle dwelling. As well as, seek the advice of your vet to make sure you are offering the very best degree of care to your pet that you simply presumably can.

Featured Picture Credit score: Megan Czarnocki, Shutterstock

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