Turtles, are omnivores, meaning they eat both vegetation and meat (unlike tortoises who are herbivores).
Turtles eat a variety of food such as snails, insects, algae, water plants, and fallen fruit.
However, many people have wondered if turtles eat worms.
So, are worms part of a turtle’s diet? If they are how many would they eat and what sort of worms would they be?
Do Turtles Eat Worms?
Turtles are omnivores and they do eat worms. In order to survive, they must eat both meat and vegetation. Worms are a good source of protein for them, and like snails and small insects- worms are an easy and delicious catch for a turtle.
Do Snapping Turtles Eat Worms?
Snapping turtles, are one of the largest and most aggressive turtles on earth! Found mainly within South-eastern Canada to South-West of the Rocky Mountains- further east near Florida and Nova Scotia. There are a few types of snapping turtles, such as the low-risk Common Snapping Turtle (Genus Chelydra type Serpentina) and the threatened Alligator Snapping Turtle (Genus Macrochelys Type Temminckii).
The size difference between a worm and one of these turtles is huge! So why do they consume worms on a regular basis? Well, worms are an amazing source of protein as they carry a lot of muscle throughout their bodies! They are so easy for a snapping turtle to catch and eat! The snapping turtle, using its super-strong jaw, could easily rip a worm in half with just one bite!
Do Box Turtles Eat Worms?
Box turtles reside both in North America and Asia. The North American Box Turtle has a Genus of Terrapene whilst the Asian box turtle has a Genus of Cuora- (most common being the Keeled Box Turtle- Genus Cuora type Pyxidea). Asian Box turtles are the worlds most heavily tracked turtle- being sold as food in Asia and pets within North America.
Box turtles are omnivores therefore, they do eat small insects, slugs, snails, worms and of course vegetation. Worms are again a vital food for Box Turtles, since they carry a lot of vital nutrients. North American Box turtles tend to eat more worms. Asian Box turtles eat less meat in general, since they live in very biodiverse areas. Most worms eaten by box turtles are earthworms.
Do Painted Turtles Eat Worms?
The painted turtle (Genus Chrysemys) is the most common native turtle of North America. There are a few types of painted turtles such as the eastern painted turtle, midland painted turtle, southern painted turtle and the western painted turtle. Depending on the area which the painted turtle is based: its diet will vary. They are also hunted by Snapping Turtles!
Painted turtles out in the open, tend to eat more animals such as crayfish or dragonfly. It will eat worms such as earthworms or mealworms, however it is less likely be on a regular basis, since worms are a lot rarer within freshwater habitats than other creatures. Domesticated painted turtles, will tend to eat more worms- since it is a lot easier for the owner to feed the turtle worms. Domesticated painted turtles, will eat mainly earthworms or mealworms. However, painted turtles do not like to eat too much protein- therefore in general they will eat a lot less meat than other turtles.
Do Aquatic Turtles Eat Worms?
Aquatic turtles are turtles based within freshwater areas. Turtles such as the painted turtle, slider turtles, map turtles and Chinese Pond turtle are all Aquatic turtles. There is no overall genus for Aquatic Turtles, since a lot of different turtles fall under the aquatic type. Instead the overall scientific name for aquatic turtles will be Testudines- an order which turtles fall into.
Their diet is extremely diverse- since they live near freshwater. This means that the Aquatic turtles will have access to a diverse selection of meat, fish and vegetation. Therefore, Aquatic turtles are more likely to eat fruit, berries, mushrooms, snails and beetles. The diet of an aquatic turtle will vary depending on where it lives. However, aquatic turtles do eat worms- and those which are domesticated eat worms much more often. The main type of worm they eat is earthworms.
Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Eat Worms?
One of the worlds most popular pets is the Red Slider Turtle (Genus Trachemys Type Scripta Elgans). These turtles are officially domesticated- due to their widespread of being pets. They get their name mainly through their small red stripe around their ears. These common house pets then are extremely easy to look after.
Red Eared Slider Turtles like to eat a variety of worms. These include- waxworms, earthworms, silkworms, mealworms and blood worms. All these worms are available to buy at a local pet store. However, it only tends to be smaller Red Eared Slider Turtles who eat worms. Larger Adult Red Eared Turtles can eat worms, but it is advised that they eat larger meats.
Can I Feed My Pet Turtle Worms?
This is an especially important question. Of course, Turtles living out in the wild will just hunt for worms and other meats- but what about domestically? I agree that feeding your pet turtle worms may sound un-ethical and a bit disgusting- but worms are part of a turtle’s diet therefore, there is nothing wrong in feeding Turtles worms. It is not illegal and in fact, worms are sold within pet stores mainly within cans. Do not try to find live worms yourself- it will only become messy and could give the turtle a disease. Instead always buy worms or any protein source for a turtle, from a pet store.
How Many Worms Do Turtles Eat A Day?
Turtles mainly require a 12-14% diet of natural proteins (such as worms). The percentage varies on the type of turtle (whether its box, Red Eared, etc) and the conditions in which the turtle lives in. It is particularly important you do not overfeed the turtle. In terms of worms, this again varies on the turtle as too much protein can cause health issues.
However, with all turtles you should enforce a strict diet- mainly consisting of vegetation. Therefore, you should feed turtles worms (and any other protein source) only once or twice a week-mainly as a treat. This avoids any health issues.
Can Little Baby Turtles Eat Worms?
Baby turtles are known to be a bit deadly. They do carry a lot of nasty germs- which can cause many illnesses such as salmonella. Therefore, it is best to keep these away from children! Baby turtles do require a completely different way of care compare to adult turtles. You should mainly feed baby turtles a mixture of food which is produced commercially and fresh food. Furthermore, try to feed the baby turtle more vegetation. High doses of protein may seriously harm the turtle- therefore you want to keep this at a minimum.
If you do want to feed your baby turtle worms, then try to feed it smaller worms. Do not try to feed them long earthworms- but instead try to feed them waxworms, meal worms, etc. In pet stores, there are tins of worms made especially for baby turtles, so we suggest that you should try these as they are the safest option.
What Kind Of Worms Do Turtles Eat?
Do Turtles Eat Mealworms?
Mealworms (Genus Tenebrio), are a favorite for turtles! Dried mealworms are so easy to buy from a pet store, and they usually have more nutrients than live mealworms. They are amazingly easy for the turtle to eat, since they are ridiculously small! Mealworms are loved mostly by aquatic turtles- since they are found near freshwater habitats. Of course, turtles do eat live mealworms- this tends to happen more with wild turtles. If you are a pet owner, then stick to dried mealworms to avoid any illnesses.
Do Turtles Eat Bloodworms?
Bloodworms, (Genus Glycera), are carnivorous meaning they only eat meat. They prey on other worms and using its four hollow jaws connected via a venom gland, these worms can cause serious pain even to humans! Wild bloodworms are mostly hunted by either bigger turtles such as snapping turtles or aquatic turtles- since these worms reside a lot near fresh water. However, frozen or dried bloodworms makes a nutritious protein source for turtles. Smaller turtles may have to have chopped up bloodworms (as bloodworms are quite big).
Bloodworms are easily available at any pet store and they are usually tinned. However, under no circumstances should you at all try feed a live bloodworm to your pet turtle! This is an injury risk to both you and the turtle- something you do not want!
Do Turtles Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms are quite common! You are bound to find these all over the world! In fact, there are probably some beneath you right now! Earthworms are eaten a lot by wild turtles since they are an easy catch. Domestic turtles, however, should try to avoid earthworms- since you mainly must eat them live. The issue with feeding your pet turtle earthworms, is that you do not know if the worm has been infested with deadly pesticides! Of course, pesticides are deadly towards your turtle- and they probably do kill a few wild turtles per year through insects, vegetation, etc.
Stick to other types of worms for your pet worm. You do not want to risk it what-so-ever! Tinned worms are organic and trustworthy- since you know that there are no dangerous chemicals or germs laying on them!
Do Turtles Eat Silkworms?
Silkworms (Genus Bombyx type Mori), are also a favourite for turtles. These worms are exceedingly small, and although many people do worry that these worms will bite and damage turtles’ intestines- the matter is, they won’t! They will most likely be well digested before they even reach the intestines, therefore there is nothing to worry about!
However, silkworms are expensive- and turtles love to rip them to pieces! Furthermore, you will have to grow the silkworms yourself which although they are hardly demanding- this still means you will have to give them time and take more responsibility! However, they are regarded as one of the healthiest sources of protein for reptiles.
Do Turtles Eat Waxworms?
Turtles can also eat waxworms (Genus Mellonella type Larva). However, you must be careful with waxworms since they contain a lot of fat! Try to feed the turtle waxworms as a treat and on occasion. Too many waxworms will cause health issues! You can buy wax worms from pet stores, so they are a lot easier to get hold of than silkworms! However, nowhere near as healthy!
Turtles are omnivores; therefore, worms are a perfect source of protein. Most turtle breeds eat worms- both wild turtles and domesticated turtles. There are many different types of worms a turtle may eat, and it is important you know the types for optimum care. You can easily buy dried turtles from a pet store- or any other tinned or commercially produced types. Live worms never have as much protein as commercially produced ones- and they are also more of a risk for your pet.