The West African Side-Necked Turtle (Pelusios castaneus), is found in the lakes, rivers and marshes of West Africa from Senegal and Nigeria to the Congo and Zaire. Just like it's cousin, the African Helmeted Turtle, the West African Side-Necked Turtle belongs to the most ancient of all living turtles, having first appeared 120 million years ago.
Another very adaptable and resourceful species, West African Side-Necked Turtles survive both floods and extreme droughts. They are opportunistic feeders taking both animal and plant foods. Ours love pellets, cut fish, meat and just about anything we offer them. They like to bask and will make use of any land provided for them.
This species is a fine one for keepers just starting out - or as pets. Just like African Helmeted Turtles, they are very personable, tame quickly, and learn to recognize their keepers before long. They are at home in fully or semi - aquatic set ups and are very hearty. West African Side-Necked Turtles reach only five to six inches after several years and are quite durable. Smaller tanks are fine for them, and yet adults do very well in warmer outdoor ponds. They do very well by themselves, in groups and with other very durable species. West African Side-NeckedTurtles quickly settle into new homes, are very outgoing, and are one of the best choices for a first turtle.