Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792)

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English Pond slider Status LU: established. 1st record: ?
Lëtzebuergesch Nordamerikanesch Buschtaf-Schmockschillkröt, -deckelsmouk Status Eur.: established. IAS of EU concern (2016).
Français n/a RA: see subspecies elegans & scripta
Deutsch Nordamerikanische Buchstaben-Schmuckschildkröte Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Yellow-bellied slider Wikipedia - Français - Trachemys scripta scripta Wikipedia - Deutsch - Gelbbauch-Schmuckschildkröte | Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Trachemys scripta scripta
Nederlands n/a Back to the list of vertebrates

Report the species

Report Trachemys scripta to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) is a species of common, medium-sized, semi-aquatic turtle. It has been listed as one of the “Top 100” World’s Worst Invaders. These turtles often fight with native species for food, habitat, and other resources. Eventually they bully many native species out of basking sites – areas where there is sunlight and warmth for the species. When basking it is common that pond sliders will do so on birds’ nests, thereby killing the eggs. They also prey on young birds. Turtles that were raised in captivity can develop diseases that are unfamiliar to native species, which can be harmful. Turtles raised in captivity are often released because they become too much to handle or grow bigger than expected. It’s not uncommon that pond sliders will also run away (Wikipedia contributors 2020).

IAS of Union concern

In 2016, Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) was added to the list of invasive alien species of Union concern (Anonymous 2016) which implies that member states shall take all necessary steps to prevent its unintentional introduction or spread.

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Records of Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-07-14.

Currently, 173 records in Luxembourg are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal, when combining the species (145) with its two subspecies, T. scripta scripta (11) and T. scripta elegans (17) present in Luxembourg (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2020).

Invasive pond sliders have been observed climbing the platforms of waterbirds, especially great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus), to sunbathe, thus preventing successful breeding (Konter 2020: 81).

More details are available on the pages dedicated to both subspecies (see their distribution maps below).

Records of Trachemys scripta elegans Wied-Neuwied, 1839 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-07-14.

Records of Trachemys scripta scripta Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-07-14.


Action plan

Finalised Action Plan for Trachemys scripta (De Sousa 2020)

Risk assessment

See the subspecies pages for further details.

Worldwide distribution

Other Trachemys taxa

The pond slider Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) has three subspecies (Wikipedia contributors 2020b), of which the first two occur in Luxembourg:


  • Anonymous, 2016. Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 adopting a list of invasive alien species of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Official Journal of the European Union L 189: 4-5.
  • De Sousa, Tiago, 2020. Plan d’action pour espèces exotiques envahissantes au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: la Tortue de Floride, Trachemys scripta spp. (Schoepff, 1792). Version 2020-09-04. Administration de la nature et des forêts, Luxembourg. 24 pp.
  • GBIF, 2019. Trachemys scripta (Thunberg In Schoepff, 1792) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset [accessed 2020-04-27]
  • Konter, A., 2020. Schmuckschildkröten Trachemys scripla verhindern mehrere Haubentaucherbruten Podiceps cristalus auf dem Echternacher See. Regulus Wissenschaftliche Berichte 35: 81-86.
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Trachemys scripta scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: [Accessed 2020-02-04]
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Trachemys scripta scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: [Accessed 2020-02-04]
  • Wikipedia contributors, 2020. ‘Pond slider’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 January 2020, 04:07 UTC, <> [accessed 2020-04-27]

 Page content last updated on 2021-06-15. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2020-04-30.