NANFA-- Garbage Disposal Turtles & Other Herps

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Fri, 19 Sep 2003 11:15:16 -0400

Best canditates for gettinf rid of unwanted fish are the Kinosternids-
mud and musk turtles. They are small, predominantly aquatic, rock hardy
- you can keep them in a plastic pan or bucket (but they really deserve
better) and will consume dead or surplus fish with gusto. Pellet based
fish food or food sticks made specifically for turtles are a good staple
diet between the occassional fish, and they also like worms and other
inverts that one would think to feed to herps.

I have a bunch of Striped Muds- Kinosternon baueri which live in a
plastic trough. They are one of the more attractive members of this
group typically 3 well defined yellow or tan stripes on a darker brown
carapace and range mostly in peninsular Florida with a recently
discovered extension northward along the Atlantic coast to probably the
Rappahannock river in VA. They even have a little personality. They are
very perky and come doggie paddling to me at feeding time!

For the non-turtle enthusiast one or two turtles of this family are
probably sufficient to service the average fish collection. For a really
big collection, or large fish- a snapping turtle might work better but
can be dangerous to handle.
Also if you're into snakes, garter and water snakes could also serve
that function because fish are a major part of their wild diet. And
there are some Monitor lizards that also consume fish.

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