Central American Wood Turtle | Size, Lifespan, Care, For Sale

The Central American wood turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima) has stood on nine in that turtle species of the genus Rhinoclemmys of the famous Geoemydidae family. These turtles can reach only 8 inches in length. They are fairly energetic. Appropriate hidden spots are important to even well-balanced pet turtles. These are quite small water-friendly turtles found in Sonora, Mexico, Costa Rica, Central and South America to Brazil. These turtles exist in savannahs in the forest.

These turtles are one of the world’s most popular and common species also known as Ornate wood turtles. They have brownish-orange skin with colorful horizontal lines on the plastron. 

Central American Wood Turtle Size 

The wood turtle’s actual size range is 8 inches long. Generally, wood turtle females are larger than male turtles having smaller tails. These adult females can reach 8 to 9 inches easily and full maturity males can grow 7 to 8 inches in length.

Central American Wood Turtle Facts

American turtle is a good pet and quite active in all activities. There are some certain fascinating and astonishing information about  Central American wood turtle:

Details Specifications
Scientific Name Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima
Rank  Species
Family Geoemydidae
Classification Rhinoclemmys
Lifespan  20 to 30 years
Size 7 to 8 inches
Kingdom  Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Testudines
Suborder Cryptodira
SuperFamily Testudinoidea
Genus Glyptemys
Color Coffee-Orange
Price $ 89 to $ 189

Central American Wood Turtle Lifespan

Central American Wood Turtle Lifespan
This turtles have short lifespan

These turtle species have a shorter lifespan than other turtle species. Their life expectancy is around 20 to 30 years for these turtles. 

These turtles can take about 14 years to reach adulthood. If they are kept as pets, they still have a shorter lifespan than other wood species.

Central American Wood Turtle Habitat

These American wood turtles are found in habitats like scrubland, forest rivers, streams, pools, upland areas, marshy meadows, rain forests, red maple swamps, shallow rivers, woodland, and farmland of Sonora, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Spiny Softshell Turtle mostly found in North America, Africa, and Asia. 

They are water-friendly species, usually enclosures from Central America. These species of wood turtle are semi-terrestrial situated in dry woodlands. They are very playful. 

 Central American Wood Turtle Appearance

 Central American Wood Turtle Appearance
These turtles have dark straight lines on their skin

The Central American wood turtle seems to have a colorful figure. They have a decent C shape shell, and the shell seems like spirals of yellow-orange shade with black blotches on them. 

These turtles have dark straight lines on their skin. Some other turtles have pink and red shades on the plastron and they seem so adorable. 

Central American Wood Ornate Turtle 

Central American wood turtle, also known as Ornate wood turtle. These turtles are a popular species of the Geoemydidae family.  They were exotic from the northern side of Costa Rica. These turtles are mostly found in western Mexico south of Costa Rica. 

These turtles spend most of their time in water and near wet mud. This turtles make a good house pet for young children, and They are very easy to handle.

They possess a manageable size and exist in a variety of colors. They need a vacant house with enough space to roam. 

Central American Wood Turtle Care Sheet   

  • Wood Turtles are quite aquatic, they need daily disclosure to UVB light.
  •  The turtles care sheet requires a minimum of high 80 degrees to low 90-degree temperature.
  • The water temperature should be kept around 75°F.
  •  This turtle needed to sunbathe in 6 to 12 inches of a high-efficiency UVB  radiant bulb.
  •  If you have natural sunlight then you should provide natural sunlight to your pet.
  • Be alert that UVB rays do not enter glass or plastic and risky superheating can occur quickly.
  •  Ornate wood turtles require 50 gallons of water in their container and a proper way to exit and enter the in-tank easily.
  • They are semi-aquatic, some use under-bed storage boxes in the water.
  •   It is good for your turtle’s health to change their tank water regularly to maintain cleanliness.
  • These turtles need light for 12 hours in the day to maintain their health. 

Central American Wood Turtle Diet

Central American turtles are voracious eaters. They can eat blueberries, melons, and vegetables, etc. They need a strong protein addition into their daily diet. Fully grown turtles should be fed 2 to 3 times a week. 

These little wood turtles also eat nightcrawlers, roaches, and pinky mice, earthworms, berries, mealworms, and red worms. They love to eat bananas as a relishing treat. Snapping turtles eat plants, insects, birds, fishes, other turtles, frogs, and a lot of other stuff.

Calcium and multivitamin supplementation is good for young juveniles. You can add cuttlebone to the diet plan because it’s full of calcium. Additionally, you can also feed them on alternate food, aquatic turtle pellets, and iguana food.

Ocean and sea turtles are plant-eaters, animal-eaters, and the ones who eat both, respectively.

Central American Wood Turtle Reproduction 

Central American Wood Turtle Reproduction 
These turtles breed in the spring and fall

The Central American Wood Turtle is an egg-laying animal. These females lay 4 to 5 eggs per year. These turtles breed in the spring and fall. In the months of May and June, female wood turtles can find bright nesting locations. Females turtles mostly like sand corners around movable water to lay eggs. 

 These turtles’ hatchlings are approximately 2 inches in length. Female eggs are long extended in shape, measuring 11/4 inches in diameter. 

Central American Wood Turtle For Sale

These wood turtles are the ideal pets. They are semi-aquatic turtles but they are not good swimmers. They like dry land and can enjoy resting easily.

A wood turtle as a pet is one option that should be on top of the list. They have a more friendly nature than other turtles.

If you are purchasing a wood turtle then check its health first. They are easily available in online stores and reasonable prices lie between $89 to $189. 


Central American wood turtles are highly semi-aquatic turtles. They are found in Southern Nicaragua to Northern Costa Rica. These turtles belong to the Geoemydidae family. It’s turtles are easier to care for and handle than others.

These turtles lie on the 8th rank in their species town. Their average age is 30 years but if provided with a good diet and natural sunlight they can survive up to 30+ years. 


1. How long do central American wood turtles live?

Central American wood turtles have a short life cycle. They can live for about 20 years. If we provide a good diet and care for them, they can survive more than 30 years. These turtles can take about 14 years to reach full maturity. 

2. How big do Central American wood turtles get?  

Central American wood turtles can reach about 8 inches. Females can grow to 9 inches and males about 7 inches. Male turtles are generally smaller than their females.

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