Malaclemys terrapin maximus
commonly referred to as the North Atlantic Diamondback terrapin
was first determined as a subspecies in the late 1980s by Dr. Jonathan Tucker
. The North Atlantic diamondback terrapin can inhabit both fresh and brackish water conditions, which is specific to diamondback terrapin
. Not many of these terrapins are seen in captivity because of their somewhat aggressive behavior towards other turtles. Fully grown, this turtle can reach a length of , which is slightly larger than the other subspecies.
As hatchlings, they are less than long, and need to fend for themselves in order to survive. Less than 15% of hatchlings survive to adulthood. This is due to larger predators such as birds
, and larger turtles. When males reach roughly , they are able to mate, while females need to be more than . These turtles live roughly 15-20 years in the wild, and 20-30 years in captivity.
The North Atlantic Diamondback Terrapin lives on a diet of mollusks
, fiddler crabs
, and occasionally small fish
. This diet is almost universal between the subspecies
. The captive diet for these turtles is different, as they can easily be fed commercial pellets.
Unlike other diamondback terrapins, this subspecies has a difficult time adapting to captive life. Although recent breeding projects have been successful, these turtles are rare in captive collections. Also, wild caught specimens are commonly hybrids
between North Atlantic and Northern Diamonback Terrapins. In addition, these turtles need to be kept alone, as they will eventually kill any other turtles that share the tank.