Of all the subspecies of T. scripta, T. s. elegans is by far the most common race that has been introduced to numerous nonindigenous localities worldwide (Salzberg, 2000). However, earlier reports of nonindigenous Red-eared Sliders from Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia (Smith and Kohler, 1978) are erroneous; these populations are considered indigenous (Green and Pauley, 1987; Conant and Collins, 1998).
Maine: Trachemys s. elegans is regularly found in Messalonskee Lake, Kennebec County, and Portland, Cumberland County, Maine (Albright, 1999).
New York: In New York, there are more than 40 nonindigenous occurrences of T. s. elegans, mostly throughout the New York City area, including all of Long Island, but also the southernmost and many east-central counties, with addition records from Buffalo, Erie County, and Rochester, Monroe County (Salzberg, 2000; Breisch et al., 2001; R. Burke, personal communication 1997). Additionally, the subspecies T. s. scripta has been found in at least 4 localities on Long Island (Breisch et al., 2001).
New Jersey: In New Jersey, T. s. elegans has been collected from Lake Carnegie, Princeton Township, and the Delaware-Raritan Canal, West Windsor Township, both in Mercer County (Stein et al., 1980).
Massachusetts: In Massachusetts, T. s. elegans have been collected from the following counties: Barnstable, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk (DeGraaf and Rudis, 1983; Cardoza et al., 1993).
Connecticut: Trachemys s. elegans has been introduced to several parts (unspecified) of Connecticut (DeGraaf and Rudis, 1983; Klemens, 1993).
Pennsylvania: A. Hulse (personal communication 1997) has collected T. s. elegans from the Lehigh River and canal system, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and observed them at this locality and the nearby Allentown and Bethlehem areas for at least two years.
Maryland: Introduced Red-eared Sliders occur in broad areas of northern and central Maryland, as far south as Prince Georges County (Cooper, 1959; Harris, 1975; Conant and Collins, 1998). Harris (1975) also found several records labeled as T. s. troostii from Baltimore County, but suggested they could have been mislabeled T. s. elegans. Alternatively this could have reflected outdated taxonomic nomenclature. Either reason could explain why T. s. troostii is not mapped as occurring in Maryland by Conant and Collins (1998).
Virginia: In northern Virginia, nonindigenous T. s. elegans occurs in the Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge, Fairfax County (D'Alessandro and Ernst; 1995; Ernst et al., 1997). Both T. s. elegans and T. s. scripta subspecies occur together and sometimes intergrade in the adjacent Potomac River (D'Alessandro and Ernst, 1995). They also occur in Prince William County (Ernst et al., 1997). Mitchell (1994) has recorded T. s. elegans from Hanover County and other eastern counties where they sometimes intergrade with indigenous Yellow-bellied Sliders. Another population of Red-eared sliders occurs in Henry County, south-central Virginia (Mitchell, 1994).
North Carolina: Nonindigenous Red-eared Sliders have been collected from Durham, Mecklenburg, Stokes, and Wake Counties, North Carolina (Martof et al., 1980; Palmer and Braswell, 1995). Two hatchlings collected in 1988, near Buxton, Hatteras Island, Dare County, could be Red-eared Sliders or T. s. elegans x T. s. scripta intergrades (Palmer and Braswell, 1995).
South Carolina: In 1995, T. s. elegans were collected from the landlocked arm of the former Seneca River, Pickens County, South Carolina (Platt and Snyder, 1996).
Florida: Nonindigenous Red-eared Sliders have been found in scattered colonies in peninsular Florida; these include Alachua (High Springs), Collier, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Volusia, and Monroe Counties (King and Krakauer, 1966; Wilson and Porras, 1983; Moler, 1988; Ashton and Ashton, 1991; Carmichael and Williams, 1991; Hutchison, 1992; Bartlett, 1994; Dalrymple, 1994; McCann et al., 1996; Ashton cited in McCann et al., 1996; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999a; Townsend et al., 2002; Florida Museum of Natural History records), including Stock Island (Butterfield et al., 1994) and Key Largo (Duquesnel, 1996) in the Keys. It is also possible for T. s. scripta, indigenous to northern Florida, to occur in nonindigenous localities in other parts of Florida (Bartlett, 1994). An update on T. s. elegans in Florida will be published by Meshaka et al. (2003).
Michigan: Nonindigenous populations of T. s. elegans occur in scattered localities in Michigan, including the following counties: Ingham, Muskegon, Oceana, Oakland, Wayne (University of Michigan at Dearborn and Henry Ford Estate), and Washtenaw (Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fish Hatchery in Saline) (Edgren, 1943, 1948; Gordon and Fowler, 1961; Harding and Holman, 1990; Harding, 1997; R. Burke, personal communication 1997).
Indiana: The recently discovered population of T. s. elegans in Marion County, central Indiana, in an area that was extensively surveyed in past research expeditions, could be nonindigenous or just a natural range expansion from indigenous populations in adjacent counties (Minton, 2001).
Wisconsin: In 1981 a single T. scripta (subspecies not given) was collected from the East River, Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin (Cochran et al., 1987).
Nebraska: In south-central Nebraska, a T. s. elegans (listed under T. s. troostii) was collected from the Little Blue River, Adams County, in 1926 (Hudson, 1942). Hudson (1942) thought this turtle was could have been an escaped pet but also expressed the possibility that this specimen was the only record of an indigenous population in Nebraska. Lynch (1985), and Ballinger and Lynch (1999) rejected the Adams County record as an indigenous occurrence and suggested it was a pet release. In the early to mid-1980s a small group (3-4) of adult T. s. elegans, including one melanistic male, were observed living in Burchard Lake, Pawnee County, southeastern Nebraska, during several visits (Somma, personal observation). These turtles were no longer seen during several subsequent visits in the 1990s (Somma, personal observation).
Colorado: In Colorado, individual pond sliders (subspecies not given) have been collected from the counties of Boulder, Denver, Mesa, and Rio Blanco (Livo et al., 1998).
Texas: While Red-eared Sliders are indigenous in much of Texas, nonindigenous turtles occur in far western Brewster, and Culberson Counties (Dixon, 2000), and F. Solis (personal communication 2001) found T. s. elegans in a canal draining into the Rio Grande River in Esperanza, in the far western county of Hudspeth.
New Mexico: Trachemys s. elegans in the Rio Grande River, in central New Mexico, are undoubtedly nonindigenous and have been collected in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Sierra, and Socorro Counties (Degenhardt and Christiansen, 1974; Stuart, 1995a, 2000; Degenhardt et al., 1996).
Arizona: In Arizona, Red-eared Sliders are found in the Papago Park Ponds, Phoenix, and the Gila River, southwest of Buckeye, both in Maricopa County (Hulse, 1980; Stebbins, 1985; Jones, 1988; M. Demlong, personal communication 1997). Additionally, a few Yellow-bellied Sliders have been found in the Papago Park Ponds, Phoenix (Hulse, 1980).
California: In California, T. s. elegans has been introduced to the following counties: Contra Costa (Jewel Lake, Tilden Park, and Walnut Creek), Kern (Prince's Pond and Isabella Reservoir), Lake (Clear Lake), Los Angeles (Long Beach), Marin (Phoenix Lake, Alpine Lake, Lake Lagunitas), San Diego (various localities), San Luis Obispo (Pico Pond), San Francisco (Golden Gate Park, Stow Lake), Santa Barbara (throughout much of the county), Santa Clara (San Jose and Guadeloupe River, Coyote Creek, Vasona Reservoir), Tulare (near Pixley National Wildlife Refuge), Ventura (Lake Sherwood), and Yolo (Davis, including Sacramento-San Joaquin drainage area) (Stebbins, 1972, 1985; Bury and Luckenbach, 1976; D. Holland, personal communication 1997; L. Overtree, personal communication 1997; H. B. Schaffer, personal communication 2000; J. Abel, personal communication 2001; output from California Academy of Sciences 1998).
Oregon: In Oregon, T. s. elegans has been collected from Burlington Bottoms and Portland, Multnomah County, Klamath River, Klamath County, Rogue River near Medford, Jackson County, Roseburg, Douglas County, Eugene and Fern Ridge Reservoir, Lane County (Brown et al., 1995; D. Holland, personal communication 1997).
Washington: In Washington, T. s. elegans occurs in Fort Lewis, King (including Seattle), Pierce, and Thurston (Fort Lewis and Olympia) Counties, including the surrounding Puget Sound area (Brown et al., 1995; Dvornich et al., 2001).
Hawaii: Red-eared Sliders have been introduced to the islands of Kauai and Oahu, Hawaii (McCoid and Kleberg, 1995; McKeown, 1996).
Canada: Nonindigenous populations of T. s. elegans occur in at least two localities in Ontario, Canada (Harding, 1997).
Mexico: Stebbins (1985) indicates the presence of nonindigenous T. scripta in Baja California, Mexico, but these simply could be Trachemys nebulosa; a species of slider that is indigenous to that area (Seidel, 2002).
Caribbean: In the Caribbean, nonindigenous T. s. elegans occur on Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles (Schwartz and Thomas, 1975; Schwartz and Henderson, 1985; 1991; Iverson, 1992; Censky and Kaiser, 1999).
U.S. Pacific Possessions: Nonindigenous T. s. elegans have been found on the U.S. Pacific islands of Guam, and the nearby Northern Mariana Islands (McCoid, 1993; Ernst et al., 1994; McCoid and Kleberg, 1995).
Other Worldwide Occurrences: Nonindigenous occurrences of the pond slider, mostly T. s. elegans, have been reported worldwide in such diverse places as Trinidad (Murphy, 1997), France (Frank and McCoy, 1995; Salzberg, 2000), Germany (Ernst et al., 1994), the United Kingdom (Beebee and Griffiths, 2000; Beltz, 2002), Israel (King and Burke, 1989; Iverson, 1992), Bahrain (Leviton et al., 1992), South Africa (Lamar, 1997; Branch, 1998; Salzberg, 2000), New Zealand (Hudson and Thornton, 1994; Bruce in Beltz, 1997; Thomas and Hartnell, 2000), Taiwan ([Lue Guangyang et al., 1999]), Japan (Sengoku, 1979; [Mathui], 1985; Ernst et al., 1994; Ota, 1999), Singapore (Lamar, 1997), and numerous parks and temple ponds in other parts of Southeast Asia, including Bangkok, Thailand (Cox et al., 1998). Salzberg (2000) claims that Red-eared Sliders can now be found on every continent except Antarctica! The review provided herein may greatly underestimate the number of introductions both in North America and worldwide.
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This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.