South American Snake Necked Turtle



The South American Snake-Necked Turtle, Hydromedusa tectifera, is a shy snake-neck living in the muddy bottoms of swamps, creeks and lakes of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. In coastal regions it does not mind brackish water…

Their evolution has closely followed that of Mata Matas in that they have developed broad, oval, mostly brownish carapaces (top shells), covered with raised rough surfaced scutes, and with the hemisphere’s longest necks they are ambush predators, waiting for their crustacean or fish prey to approach. Once in range, they can either aggressively bite down on their meal – or shoot out their heads and quickly trust open their mouths creating a strong suction that draws their prey item inside – just as Mata Matas are famous for doing . . .

In a tank, bin or pond they enjoy cover, learn to love pellets, while still taking cut up or live fish, and most protein foods. Just like for Mata Matas, basking areas are not important – but lots of “break up” (plants, rocks, logs) are appreciated. Also like Mata Matas, ours do best in acidic PHs (5.5 – 6.5)

Only a few US breeders actively work with this bizarre species – and each year very, very few are hatched. Adults are only occasionally offered, and sometimes 5 years can pass before some are available.