What Can a Yellow-Bellied Turtle Eat?

Updated July 19, 2017

Yellow-bellied slider turtles are most commonly found in ponds, lakes and other non-flowing bodies of water. Often found relaxing on logs or rocks in the sun, the yellow-bellied slider turtle can grow to 8 inches and sports yellow bands along the sides of its mostly black body. They make a very good pet for first time turtle owners and can live up to 40 years when cared for and fed properly.

Dead Fish, Tadpoles and High-Protein Meat

Yellow-bellied turtles that consume diets high in protein tend to grow larger than those who feed on vegetation only. Due to the turtles' inability to catch live fish, their best chance at protein consumption occurs by obtaining dead fish floating within their habitat. In addition to the dead fish, yellow-bellied slider turtles obtain protein nourishment from catching and consuming tadpoles swimming in the water.

Water Vegetation

The most accessible food to the slider turtle is water vegetation, or plants that grow in and around water. This vegetation includes water lilies, algae, leaves, stems and roots. Easily accessible due to their growth within the non-flowing body of water and position at the bottom of the water, these plants prove easily obtainable while swimming through the water.

Insects and Worms

Non-flowing bodies of water breed a variety of insects. The main variety that appeals to the yellow-bellied turtle consists of crickets, worms and mosquitoes. All of these meet the dietary needs and wants of the turtles by providing protein and they are easy to access since they often float just below the surface of the water.

Fruits and Seeds

Although the best diet for yellow-bellied slider turtles consists of protein from small animals and vegetation, fruits and seeds provide nutrition as well. Most often the fruits and seeds are found floating on the water after falling from the surrounding trees or dropping from a flying bird. The consistency of the fruit and seeds allows them to float on the top of the water and where easily obtained by the turtles floating just below the surface.

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About the Author

Lynn Hartz has been writing technical and psychological journals since 1975. Lynn has a master's degree in psychology and English from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She went on to earn a Ph.D in psychotherapy from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.