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Florida Softshell Turtle

Soft-shelled turtles make great display animals. Though they may bury in the sand, they are quick, alert, and many are graceful swimmers. A big display tank with Spiny, Smooth, or Florida Soft-shelled turtles is hard to beat for entertainment value.

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Other Animal Facts


Florida softshell turtles can be found throughout Florida, southern Georgia, and southeastern South Carolina.


Their color usually ranges from olive green to dark brown and the underside is white or cream-colored.

Size & Lifespan

They need to be kept warm (70s F)


Florida softshells are solitary and diurnal creatures. They can be very aggressive and may grasp or scratch with their sharp jaws and claws if they are handled or feel any danger. They may also produce a musk to warn away predators.


Soft-shelled turtles are carnivores. They feed readily on fish (avoid carp and catfish), worms, crickets, pink mice, crayfish, and shrimp. Once acclimated, most soft-shelled turtles will eagerly accept floating commercial diets, but the key is a "balanced" diet!


They can be kept in a large aquarium that's at least 75 to 100 gallons. The water must be kept very clean, and there should be nothing sharp or rough that could cause a wound on your softshell turtle in that tank.


Adult females, which average between 24 and 30 centimeters (roughly 9 to 11 inches) in length are larger than males, which are usually between 15 and 19 centimeters (6 to 8 inches). Can live up to 30 years.