Can Painted Turtles mate with Red-Eared Sliders

by | Jul 31, 2022

Painted Turtles mates Red-Eared Sliders

Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are two of the most popular reptiles for pet owners. 

If you have both as pets, you may wonder if it is possible to mate them. 

This blog post will educate you on the viability of mating them and other related topics. 

Can Painted Turtles breed with Red-Eared sliders?

The answer is yes. Painted turtles and red-eared sliders can mate. The two reptiles share the same habitat in the wild and even bask together. 

While they can mate and produce offspring, the offspring, more often than not, will be sterile. 

If you are thinking of mating them, there are things you should note before starting. 

Things to consider before Mating Painted Turtles and Red-eared Sliders


The first thing you should note is that while the painted turtles and red-eared sliders are both aquatic, they have different needs when it comes to habitat. 

Painted turtles like slow-moving waters, while red-eared sliders like fast-moving water. 

The water in the habitat can pose a problem if you want to cohabit the two species.

To solve that, you will need to provide a habitat that balances the need of both of them.

Painted turtles need their basking spot around 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit while red-eared sliders need theirs to be 90-92 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are not of equal sizes. Red-eared sliders are larger and can grow up to 8-12 inches, while painted turtles are smaller, only reaching up to 4-6 inches. 

This size disparity can cause problems and make Mating difficult as the painted turtle is half the size of the red-eared slider. 

To mate them, you have to make sure both of them are of a similar size.  

Different species

As noted earlier, painted and red-eared turtles can mate and produce offspring, but that doesn’t mean they are of the same species. 

And that is something noteworthy. Being different species means they both carry distinct diseases and parasites. 

And when they transfer these diseases to their offspring, it can lead to serious health problems. 

You must ensure both animals are healthy before trying to mate them. 

Is it a good idea to mate painted turtles and red-eared sliders?

As members of the same Emydidae family, they can interbreed. But does that mean you should try to mate them? 

I won’t recommend that. It is best to keep both species apart and make them mate with members of their species so that their offspring can live a viable, healthy, and long life. 

The painted turtles and the red-eared slider belong to a different genus, and when they mate, they produce a hybrid. 

Turtle hybrids are known to have a lot of health issues, even fatal ones. These can lead to a relatively short lifespan compared to the parents. 

Other Risks associated with Mating Painted Turtles with Red-Eared Sliders

There is also the risk of physical attack during Mating. 

During Mating, the male can sometimes bite the neck of the female. 

The neck bite can cause injury and infection to the female, sometimes leading to death. 

The whole episode can also be stressful to the female and weaken it, making it more prone to diseases and infection. 

Can painted turtles and red-eared sliders live together?

Yes, painted turtle and red-eared slider can be tank mates. They have a lot in common; they are compatible and are often seen together in the wild. 

They also rarely attack each other, although the red-eared slider can occasionally be aggressive. 

Therefore, you should still get a large enclosure if you want to keep them together. 

The painted turtle and the red-eared slider also love to move around, so the ample space will provide each with personal space to move around without intruding on the other’s turf. 

There are other things you should note before housing them together.


The much bigger red-eared slider can be aggressive towards the smaller painted turtle. 

It is best to find a painted turtle similar in size. Having both in the same size will reduce the aggression from the red-eared slider and lessen confrontation between the two turtles. 


Like with the size, it is best to make sure both of them are of the same age. Juvenile-painted turtles will get bullied by an adult red-eared slider and vice versa. 

If one is younger, the older one can bully and even stop the younger one from feeding. 

The same thing goes for basking. If you want to house a painted turtle and a red-eared slider, I advise you get ones of similar age.


As noted before, the red-eared slider can be aggressive and territorial. If you want to keep both together as tank mates, it is ideal to ensure both turtles have the same temperament. 

If you can get the ones with a calm temperament, that will be ideal and reduce the risk of conflict.

Do not mix gender: 

Do not mix males and females. Mixing sexes can lead to Mating; if you have more than two, confrontations over Mating will consistently spring up.

Don’t mix a captive breed with a wild-caught one: 

It would help if you always separated a wild caught turtle from a captive breed. 

Wild caught turtles can be very aggressive and carry diseases and pass them on to others. 

Turtles from different locality pass deadly diseases, which can sometimes have fatal consequences. 

Be watchful: 

If you house a painted turtle and a red-eared slider together, you should be watchful to break up confrontations and ensure there are living together in peace.


Even though it is possible to mate painted turtles and red-eared sliders, it is advisable not to. 

The risks far outweigh the gains. The offspring from such breeding may have genetic disorders and may not live a long healthy life. 

It is best to stop housing them together without Mating. 

About Me

Hi, I am Sarah! At Amado Pets we are passionate about pets and love sharing our knowledge and research with you. We strive to be the ultimate resource for you to learn all that you can about caring for your pet!