Terrapin at The Otter Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm, Buckfast, Devon


See our Terrapins

The terrapins kept at the Butterfly Farm are mostly the Red Eared variety, Pseudemys scripta elegans (North America) which is probably the most widely kept reptile in the world.

They are fed a variety of foods including fresh meat, fish, meal worms, whitebait, snails and vegetable matter, which they eat under water.

Terrapin at Otters and Butterflys, Devon

It is interesting that a fertilised female may remain fertile for several years but each successive clutch of eggs will contain fewer fertile eggs until there is a re-mating.

Terrapin Laying Eggs


Male terrapins have longer, thicker tails than females, also the males have longer front claws than females which are used in courtship displays.

It is not certain how long terrapins live and there are many reports of ages of 50 years being reached and the eldest of our terrapins is reported to be over 40 years old.

Don't be mistaken by the cumbersome looking shell, as these particular reptiles, unlike tortoises, can move incredibly fast when they want to.