How to set up for a Mississippi Map Turtle

The Mississippi Map Turtle can be found along the length of the Mississippi River as well as streams and lakes in North America. They are both aquatic and terrestrial in their habits being strong swimmers but venturing to the surface for basking opportunity. They have a green-brown shell colour with dark skin that is lined with yellow markings. They are a relatively small species although there is a significant size difference between males and females. Turtles aren’t the best pets for handling and can be intolerant. Apart from this, don’t keep them away from the water too long as this is where they are able to move best and feel safe. They are characterful and fun to watch.


The Mississippi Map Turtle is a smaller species of turtle measuring around 5 inches for males and up to 10 inches for females. Tank size should be judged therefore off the gender and size of your turtle, with smaller males being ok to be housed in a 3ft tank, and larger females needing a 4ft tank. Fish tanks would be best to provide the depth of water but ensure the correct lighting can be included, and for this, a tank without a hood may be better. This species is terrestrial as well as aquatic, so a land area will be necessary, incorporating a basking area which can be done with rockwork or platforms such as Zoo Med’s Turtle dock. This needs to be large enough so that the basking bulb is only over land and not water (as this can cause them to blow).

You can use a variety of rocks, wood pieces and foliage to provide good leverage for movement as well as creating a more natural setting and an enriching environment. It is also essential that enough hiding opportunity is created with decor so that your turtles feel secure.

Water temperature



Enjoy this blog? Let's stay connected ;)