Florida Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina osceola) are found only in peninsular Florida where they live the typical snapper's life at the bottom of their pond or lake buried in the mud waiting for their next meal to pass by. The only real difference between Florida and Common Snapping Turtles is soft spikes on the neck and head called turbercles. On Common Snappers the tubercles are rounded, and on the Florida Snapping Turtle, the tubercles are pointed. Florida snappers are usually a warmer light brown color as juveniles, while Common Snappers are more gray to black. Otherwise, Florida Snapping Turtles behave identically to Common Snappers who's behavior and description follows:
One of North America's most recognizable fully aquatic Turtles, the Common Snapping Turtle, inhabits nearly all bodies of slow moving, soft bottomed water, fresh and brackish, from Nova Scotia to Mexico, east of the Rocky Mountains. In Florida it gives way to the Florida Snapping Turtle.
Common Snapping Turtles are true omnivores, and will eat anything they can fit into their mouths. Juveniles freely forage for food, while adults prefer to be ambush predators, lying in wait for the next passing meal. These tendencies make all sizes excellent tank turtles. Not the best community turtles, juvenile Common Snapping Turtles think everyone's tail is a worm - and will promptly remove them - even other snappers'. We feed ours pellets, cut fish and beef. Water plants are also offered. One study has shown hatchlings to imprint well on early food items.
In the last century, people's taste for Common Snapping Turtles, severely damaged many wild populations. Now, many are farm raised, both in the US and abroad. Wild Snapping Turtles are almost always quite vicious. Captive raised snappers, if handled often, will tame down fairly well. They never loose their fiercely vicious feeding response, and keepers never seem to loose their fascination for them...
Please note that California and Washington state do not allow Florida or Common Snapping Turtles to be kept by individuals - so we cannot ship Snapping Turtles to those states without special permits.