Pond Sliders (Trachemys scripta) are native to the southeastern and central United States and northern Mexico.
There are three subspecies of the Pond Slider:
1. the Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), distinquished by a small red stripe around its ears;
2. the Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta), distinquished by its plastron (bottom shell) which is mostly yellow with black spots along the edges, and
3. the Cumberland Slider (Trachemys scripta troostii), distinquished by having many dark spots on its belly and by having two distinct horizontal bars (not a yellow S-shape as with the Yellow-bellied Slider) on the side of its head that can vary from yellow to orange and be either thin or wide.
All of the subspecies are popular in the pet trade and have been introduced to other parts of the world by people releasing it to the wild.
All three photos show the Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).
Top: Brazos Bend State Park, Texas, USA, 2 March 2009
Left: Brazos Bend State Park, Texas, USA, 27 October 2006
Middle: High Island, Texas, USA, 15 April 2007