Red-eared slider turtle

Red-eared slider turtles out-compete native turtle species—some of which are already threatened. They aggressively compete for food, nesting areas and basking sites.

Red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is a restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act.

In Queensland red-eared slider turtles must not be kept, moved, fed, given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.


  • one distinctive red or orange stripe behind each eye
  • narrow pale yellow stripes on head and legs
  • grows up to 30cm long
  • can retract its head directly back into shell

Further information and resources

Similar species

There are seven species/sub-species of native freshwater turtles found in our region including the endangered Mary River Turtle (Elusor macrurus). Native turtle species are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

If you see a red-eared slider turtle report it to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.

Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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