Tortuga Orejas Rojas o Tortuga de Florida

Tortuga-de-Orejas-Rojas

Nombre Cientifico: Trachemys scripta elegans

Nombre común:
Tortuga de orejas rojas, tortuga de Florida.

Familia: Emydidae.

Biótopo:
Ríos, pantanos, lagos y todo tipo de cuerpos de agua, a excepción de corrientes de agua fría.

Distribución:
Casi todo Estados Unidos e exceptuando el norte; y Noreste de México.
Actualmente esta especie ha sido introducida en casi todo el mundo; debido a que es muy adaptable causa desastres ecológicos desplazando flora y fauna locales.

Acuario: Si los condiciones lo permiten un acuaterrario al exterior será adecuado, con una zona acuática bastante amplia, y una zona seca mas pequeña, en donde la tortuga pueda asolearse y andar si lo desea.

Status:Establece la Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-059-ECOL-1994, que Trachemys scripta ssp. está sujeta a protección especial y está citada en el Apendice I de la Convención sobre el Comercio Internacional de Especies Amenazadas de Fauna y Flora Silvestres (CITES).

Forma:
El caparazón es plano y el diseño puede variar en cada ejemplar. El plastrón es de color amarillo con manchas negras que se van desvaneciendo con la edad. Tiene una mancha roja a cada lado de la cabeza. La piel es de color verde con dibujos blancos. Las extremidades terminan con unas garras divididas por membranas interdigitales.

Coloración:
Verde brillante cuando son jóvenes y conforme el animal crece el color se va obscureciendo. La variación de color es diferente en casa ejemplar.

Tamaño:
Generalmente hasta los 30 cm, aunque la diferencia detalla no es muy acusada normalmente las hembras suelen ser de mayor tamaño.

Diferencias sexuales:
La hembra es mas grande, tiene las garras y la cola cortas, a diferencia del macho que es mas pequeño y posee unas garras y una cola notablemente mas largas.

Temperatura:
24 a 30 ºC, aunque soporta un rango de temperatura mas amplio, lo que le ha ayudado adaptarse a casi todos los climas del mundo.

Agua:

Debido a que esta tortuga pasa la mayor parte del día en el agua, es necesario que la zona acuática del acuaterrario se amplia para que el animal puede desplazarse fácilmente. Es necesaria una buena filtración debido a sus hábitos; y una temperatura de 28 ºC será ideal.

Alimentación: Omnívora en fase juvenil y vegetariana en fase adulta; en libertad varia desde peces, crustáceos, anfibios, insectos hasta plantas acuáticas; y en cautiverio acepta muy bien alimento comercial, complementado con frutas y vegetales hasta carne de bovino y pescado.

Acuario:
Si los condiciones lo permiten un acuaterrario al exterior será adecuado, con una zona acuática bastante amplia, y una zona seca mas pequeña, en donde la tortuga pueda asolearse y andar si lo desea. Si no se dispone de tanto espacio, se puede utilizar un acuario, y solo se le tiene que adaptar una plataforma para crear la zona seca
Si no se dispone de un acuaterrario al exterior en donde el animal pueda asolearse libremente, esta puede ser sustituida por 2 tubos fluorescentes. Es necesaria una buena iluminación, ya que gracias a esta, la tortuga asimila los nutrientes que necesita..

Alimentación:

Omnívora en fase juvenil y vegetariana en fase adulta; en libertad varia desde peces, crustáceos, anfibios, insectos hasta plantas acuáticas; y en cautiverio acepta muy bien alimento comercial, complementado con frutas y vegetales hasta carne de bovino y pescado. Cabe mencionar que aunque en fase adulta es vegetariana, no desaprovechara cualquier alimento de origen animal.
Es necesaria una dieta balanceada y variada, para que la tortuga pueda obtener nutrientes esenciales para estar en optimas condiciones. Cuando mantenemos a estas tortugas en casa, hay que tener cuidado de no sobrealimentarlas, ya que un exceso de peso puede ser contraproducente.

Comportamiento:

Suele ser una tortuga tranquila si se dispone de espacio suficiente. Pasa la mayor parte del tiempo en el agua, y solo sale de esta para asolearse o poner sus huevos.

Reproducción:

Los cortejos comienzan en los meses de Febrero-Marzo, en donde es común ver a los machos detrás de las hembras, rozándoles el rostro con sus garras y tratando de llamar su atención.. Todo este complicado proceso, concluye con la copula. Las puestas se dan en los meses de Junio-Septiembre, en donde la hembra sale a tierra y realiza un agujero el cual cava cuidadosamente con las extremidades traseras y en donde finalmente puede depositar hasta unos 15 huevos, dependiendo de la edad de la hembra. Hay hembras que realizan 2 puestas por temporada. Cabe destacar que la elección del lugar del nido, no es al azar, sino que la hembra pareciera percibir en donde están las condiciones optimas para el desarrollo de los huevos. Después de la puesta la hembra abandona el nido. Los pequeños nacen después de unos 90 días dependiendo de la temperatura, y ya son capaces de valerse por si mismos.
La reproducción en cautiverio no causa grandes dificultades. Después del apareamiento, hay que estar pendientes de la hembra, cuando esta se encuentre grávida, nos daremos cuenta, ya que querrá salir del agua y estará muy activa. En este momento hay que proporcionarle un lugar adecuando, con tierra o el sustrato que se desee utilizar, para que esta lleve a cabo la puesta. Una temperatura de 28 a 30 ºC, será adecuada para el desarrollo de los embriones.

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