Feeding and habitat preferences of the Red-eared Slider, trachymys scripta elegans wied
Feeding preferences of the red-eared slider among five common aquatic plant species were evaluated using paried comparison tests and a multiple comparison test. Statistical analysis of the paired comparison tests indicated the following preference order: Vallisneris americana = Hydrilla verticillata > Najas guadalupensis > Potamogeton nodosus = Myriophyllum spicatum. Statistical analysis of the multiple comparison test indicated the following preference order: V. americana > N. guadalupensis > H. verticillata > P. nodosus = M. spicatum. Although minor differences in the results of the two tests were observed, both confirmed that V. americana was highly preferred while P. nodosus and M. spicatum were least preferred. To estimate the slider population, mark-recapture (Schnabel Method) was conducted for one year. The population was estimated at 705 (88 per hectare of surface water). Habitat preferences based solely on dominant plant species could not be demonstrated. However, sliders did appear to prefer ponds with well-established communities of both plants and animals.