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Do turtles molt

Customer Question

Do aquatic turtles molt (like birds or snakes)?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Bunny Girl replied 9 years ago.

Turtles do not molt but they can occasionally get dry skin that makes it appear as though they are molting.

If your turtle looks like it is molting it probably doesn't have the correct amount of humidity in its tank and it may not be getting the proper amount of nutrition.

The best thing to do is to keep the temperature of the cage between 77 and 95 degree's. Make sure that you have a thermometer in there so that you can adequately determine the temperature.

Fill the tank with about 2/3 percent water and 1/3 percent basking space. Turtles also need a UVB light to bask under because their bodies aren't capable of producing vitamin D.

I recommend putting the turtle in a different enclosure to feed them because left over food can cause diseases and parasites. They should also be fed a good commercial diet made specifically for turtles. Some turtles are strictly herbivores but Aquatic turtles will occasionally eat earthworms, small fish, and algae (these are just some examples). If you supplement your turtles diet with a variety of these things it will help with vitamin deficiencies. Make sure that when you take the turtle out to put him back in his normal cage you rinse him off a bit with some tepid water. This will help keep him from bringing micro-organisms back with him from the feeding tank to the tank he lives in.

Turtles are very susceptible to improper mineral balance and vitamin deficiencies. They can end up with metabolic bone disease that can be deadly if they don't have the proper vitamins.

If your turtle's skin appears to be molting it is most likely dry from either lack of humidity or poor nutrition. Some people even put commercially made humidifiers in the tanks that regulate the humidity. Turtles don't technically molt but they will shed some of their scales. Molting is completely different and animals like snakes that molt will lose their whole outer skin as the new skin grows in. In turtles you may see some small scales in the bottom of the tank but this is technically not a molt.

I know you only asked one question and I wasn't sure if it was for your own turtle or just for research, but if you need any more help please let me know.

Lastly, if you do own a turtle it is very important that you find an exotic pet or a specialist that is well versed in the treatment of terrapins. It is better to have one available than to try to scramble at the last minute during an emergency to find one. Most exotic pet veterinarians or hospitals will treat turtles. You just want to make sure that they know what they are talking about. The bigger 24 hour emergency animal hospitals usually have specialists on hand for most species of animals, including exotics.

Good luck and if you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

Expert:  Bunny Girl replied 9 years ago.

Hi Shell

We spend a lot of our time researching these questions. If you found that it was satisfactory please hit the accept button.

Doing this will also make other experts more likely to answer any further questions you may have.

Good luck and thank you




Expert:  TIM REICHARD replied 9 years ago.
Turtles shed their skins periodically, and some turtles shed the transparent covering of the scutes on the outside of their shells. It is norlmal.
hope this answers your question.