The Top 10 Most Popular Pet Turtle Breeds [2023]

Are you considering adopting a pet turtle but unsure which breed suits you?

Look no further!

In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular pet turtle breeds to help you make an informed decision.

From the hardy and easy-to-care-for red-eared slider to the colorful and lively painted turtle, there’s sure to be a turtle on this list that will fit perfectly into your home and lifestyle.

So, learn more about each turtle breed’s unique characteristics and needs and find your perfect match!

Red-Eared Slider

Red-Eared Slider
Red-Eared Slider

The Red-Eared Slider is one of the most popular pet turtles. It’s native to the United States but can also be found in other parts of North America.

The red-eared slider is hardy and easy to care for, making it a good choice for beginners. In addition, this species can live up to 40 years!

The red-eared slider does well in small tanks or ponds, with plenty of space for swimming and basking under UV lights (which should be provided).

They do well in groups as long as there are enough hiding places; keeping multiple males together may cause aggression problems due to competition over females during the breeding season.

But keepers should also consider whether they have enough room in their enclosure(s) before purchasing more than one male turtle at once!

Some keepers choose not only because of fighting but also because some males will try mating with other males’ shells instead of female ones if given no other options except each other (which can lead to them dying if it happens too often).

Painted Turtle

Painted Turtle
Painted Turtle

Painted turtles are one of the most popular turtle breeds.

They’re also among the most colorful, with bright reds, yellows, and greens that make them stand out from other species in their family (the Eastern box turtle).

Painted turtles are omnivores and eat just about anything that moves or doesn’t move, for that matter!

This can include worms, insects, and plants like grasses or lettuce leaves brought to them by their owners.

They have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years on average but have been known to live up to 40 years when cared for properly.

Map Turtle

Map Turtle
Map Turtle

The map turtle is a small aquatic turtle that has a prominent personality.

These turtles are very active, so they must live in a large tank or pond with plenty of space for swimming and exploring.

Map turtles are known for their ability to dive deep into the water and stay underwater for long periods.

However, they should still be monitored by owners since this can be dangerous if your pet gets stuck under rocks or logs that could damage its shell as it comes back up from its dive (or when it tries to get out of its tank).

Map turtles can grow up to 8 inches long over their lifetime but don’t let their small size fool you!

These little guys will surprise you with how much personality they have!

They love playing outside their tanks; make sure not to leave them unattended unless another adult knows how much attention they need while outside.

Because while most other pets might enjoy relaxing on your couch after playtime together…your map turtle probably won’t want anything more than to get back into action again!

Box Turtle

Box Turtle
Box Turtle

The Box Turtle is the best pet turtle for beginners.

This species is known for being easy to care for, so they’re also a good choice if you have little experience with turtles or other reptiles.

Box Turtles are also a good bet if you have children who occasionally handle the animal.

They’re more tolerant than most of being handled without stress and can usually handle being picked up by small hands without getting too upset about it.

Box Turtles have been popular pets since Colonial times and remain so today because they make great companions that don’t require a lot of time or effort on your part.

They need their enclosure cleaned every few weeks (and daily during warmer weather), but this isn’t difficult work.

Take out any poop accumulated inside before replacing any substrate with fresh dirt or sand (depending on the substrate used).

You may need help from older kids who lift heavier items like rocks.

But even younger children can help scoop out old bedding into trash bags!

Eastern River Cooter

Eastern River Cooter
Eastern River Cooter

The Eastern river cooter is a medium-sized turtle up to 10 inches long.

It has a brown shell with yellow stripes and a yellow belly.

The Eastern river cooter is native to the eastern United States, living in swamps and slow-moving creeks or rivers with soft bottoms.

These turtles are omnivores and eat plant matter and small invertebrates such as worms, insects, and snails.

Eastern River Cooters prefer warm weather above all else!

They’re not suited for colder climates because they don’t hibernate during winter months (unlike other aquatic species).

So, live where winters get below freezing.

This may not be your best choice for an aquarium pet since these guys need constant access to heated water throughout their lives.

If they cannot hibernate each year properly, as most other aquatic creatures do during winter when it is too cold outside.

Yellowbelly Slider Turtle

Yellowbelly Slider Turtle
Yellowbelly Slider Turtle

The yellowbelly slider is a famous pet turtle in the United States.

It’s also known as the Florida red-bellied turtle and the Carolina slider, among others.

This medium-sized aquatic reptile has a lifespan of 20-30 years, which makes it one of the most common freshwater turtles in this country.

It gets its name from its yellow belly and black stripes along its sides that resemble a belt (slider).

The shell on this species can range from brownish gray to olive green with dark spots or blotches; males have brighter colors than females!

Greek Tortoise

Greek Tortoise
Greek Tortoise

The Greek tortoise is a medium-sized tortoise. It’s one of the most popular pets among turtle lovers, and it has a long lifespan, so you can expect to have your Greek tortoise around for many years.

The Greek tortoise is not good at swimming and prefers to live in dry climates, making them perfect for indoor or outdoor enclosures with plenty of space to roam around.

They’re omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals (including insects).

Hermann’s Tortoise

Hermann's Tortoise
Hermann’s Tortoise

Hermann’s Tortoise is a species of tortoise in the family of Testudinidae.

It is native to southern Europe and northern Africa, with a range extending from Morocco and Algeria eastward to Turkey and southward through Tunisia into Libya.

It is a medium-sized tortoise, reaching about 20 cm (8 inches) in carapace length.

Like other Mediterranean Basin members of its genus (Testudo), Hermann’s Tortoises are sexually dimorphic; on average, females grow larger than males.

Russian Tortoise

Russian Tortoise
Russian Tortoise

For a good reason, Russian Tortoises are the most famous tortoise pet.

They’re hardy, live up to 100 years and make great first-time pets. Plus, they don’t require much space or special care.

If you have been considering getting a turtle but aren’t sure where to start, this breed is for you!

Diamondback Terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin
Diamondback Terrapin

The Diamondback Terrapin is a popular pet and a giant freshwater turtle in the United States.

This species can grow up to 8 inches long, making it bigger than most expect when they see one.

The diamondback terrapin is native to the Carolinas, Florida, and Georgia. It’s an omnivore that eats both plants and animals.

Its diet includes algae on rocks and insects such as crickets or grasshoppers.

These turtles are sometimes called land tortoises because of their large size; however, this term isn’t accurate since they’re not tortoises!


In conclusion, turtles make fantastic pets with many species to choose from.

Before deciding, research and choosing the right breed that fits your living conditions and lifestyle is essential.

Each breed has unique personality and care requirements, from the hardy and easy-to-care-for Red-Eared Slider to the more active Map Turtle to the colorful Painted Turtle.

The Box Turtle is an excellent option for beginners, while the Greek Tortoise is best suited for experienced keepers.

With proper care, attention, and a suitable living environment, your pet turtle can live a long and happy life by your side.

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