Turtles and Tortoise are long lived (especially the latter), and there are many species to choose from. The Snapping Turtles are great looking, but watch your fingers or you could end up with none!
Common Musk TurtleSternptherus ororatus
The Common Musk Turtle is an ideal beginner species due to their adult size and ease of care. They are also known as Stinkpot Turtles due to a smelly liquid they produce from musk glands when frightened.
Hermans TortoiseTestudo hermanni
The Hermanís tortoise is small to medium in size and is one of five species of Mediterranean tortoise from the genus Testudo, they can be found throughout Southern Europe. These are the UKís most popular kept species of tortoise!
Horsefield TortoiseTestudo horsfieldi
The Horsefield or Russian tortoise is arguably the most popular pet species of tortoise out there due to their smaller size and hardy nature. They are ideal for beginners into the reptile hobby who are interested in keeping Chelonian species.
Indian Star TortoiseGeochelone elegans
The Indian Star Tortoise is a striking species. Each star is centered on a pyramidal bump on the shell, the females have a bumper shell compared to males. This tortoise grows between at size of 20-30cm, females being larger.
Leopard TortoiseGeochelone pardalis
Leopard Tortoises reach an adult size of 18", they are the worlds fourth largest species. They have a yellowish coloured shell with black dots, hence the name.
Mediterranean Spur-Thighed TortoiseTestudo graeca ibera
The Spur-Thighed tortoise or Greek Tortoise as it also known by, is one of five species of Mediterranean tortoise. It is commonly confused with the Hermans tortoise but there are distinct differences.
Red Foot TortoiseGeochelone carbonaria
Red Foot Tortoise is a medium sized South American tortoise.
Siebenrocks Snake Necked TurtleChelodina siebenrocki
The Siebenrocks Snake Necked Turtle is an aquatic species that rarely comes out to bask. They are not a beginner species to due to their requirements and adult length of 35cm.
African Helmeted TurtlePelomedusa subrufa subrufa
African Helmeted Turtle are relatively small turtles. They are found throughout Africa, from Ghana all the way to the Cape of Africa.
African Side Neck TurtlePelusios gabonensis
African Side Neck Turtles are found in rivers, lakes and slow-moving streams in South Africa.
Aldabrans TortoiseGeochelone gigantea
The Aldabrans Tortoise is the worlds second largest species with adults reaching sizes of 122cm and weighing 250kg. This is not a tortoise for a novice and plenty of land is required!
Bells Hinged Back TortoiseKinixys belliana
This is a small 14-18cm Hinged Back Tortoise from dry to moist savanna of Africa. They are rarely offered within the pet trade.
Chinese Soft Shell TurtleTrionyx sinensis
The Chinese Soft Shell Turtle grows to a maximum length of 25cm. They are an aquatic species found in Taiwan and China.
Chinese Striped Neck TurtleOcadia sinensis
The Chinese Striped Neck Turtle reaches a maximum length of 25cm, although averages at 20cm. Youngsters are mainly carnivorous whereas adults tend to be herbivorous.
Diamondback TerrapinMalaclemys terrapin
The Diamondback Terrapin is native to the brackish waters and reedy marshes along the eastern cost of USA from Massachusetts to Texas and North Carolina. These are a medium sized terrapin reaching between 10 and 20cm, females being larger.
Dwarf Hermans TortoiseTestudo hermanni hermanni
The Dwarf Hermans Tortoise is more colourful compared to the normal Hermans. They have a bright yellow shell with large amounts of black/brown patterning, they also reach a smaller size.
Florida Snapping TurtleChelydra serpentine
Florida Snapping Turtles have powerfall jaws that snap very quickly. A single snap could bite off a finger, so best to leave them
Florida Soft Shell TurtleApalone ferox
The Florida Soft Shell Turtle has a leathery carapace instead of a hard shell, hence their name. They are a large species with females reaching an adult size of up to 60cm, males are much smaller staying around 35cm.
Hieroglyphic River CooterPseudemys concinna hieroglyphica
The Hieroglyphic River Cooter is mainly an aquatic turtle species that prefers moderate current in the water. They reach an adult length of 12 to 16 inches.
Homes Hinged Back TortoiseKinixys homeana
This is a forest dwelling species found living in moist habitats close to water in Africa. This Hinged Back Tortoise is rarely offered within the pet trade.
Marginated TortoiseTestudo marginata
The Marginated Tortoise can only be found in parts of Greece and southern Albania, they have also been introduced in Sardinia and Tuscany, Italy.
Mississippi Map TurtleGraptemys pseudogeographica
Mississippi Map Turtles are relatively small to medium sized, this depends on the gender. They can be found in the river systems of Mississippi and Missouri.
Pancake TortoiseMalacochersus tornieri
The Pancake Tortoise really does look like a pancake with its flattened shell. They are a small species growing to an adult size of 6-7 inches and have beautifully patterned shell.
Peninsula CooterPseudemys floridana
The Peninsula cooter is a large species of turtle which is found along the southeastern costal plain of the United States.
Pink Bellied Snapping TurtleElseya schultzei
The Pink Bellied Snapping Turtle is also know as a Northern New Guinea Snapping Turtle. These are a medium to large sized turtle reaching an adult size of 30cm.
Razorback Musk TurtleSternotherus carinatus
Razorback Musk Turtles are almost entirely aquatic found in dense plants and slow moving waters. They have a distinctive sharp keel down the center of their shell, giving them their common name.
Red Bellied Short Necked TurtleEmydura subglobosa
The Red Bellied Short Necked Turtle is also known as a Jardine River Turtle and reach a length of 25cm. They are great swimmers, love to bask and are ideal for beginners.
Red Bellied TurtlePseudemys nelsoni
The Red Bellied Turtle is a great beginner species, they are very communal and will happily share their enclosure with other related species. They reach an adult size of between 18 and 33cm, females being the largest.
Reeves TurtleChinemys reevesii
The Reeves Turtle reach an adult length of around 12cm, these make a great hardy beginner species of turtle. Young should be kept in shallow water until they are older as babies are poor swimmers.
Roti Island Snake Necked TurtleChelodina mccordi
The Roti Island Snake Necked Turtle is one of the rarest of the Snake Necked Turtles and the only one CITES listed. They are a medium to large turtle reaching a shell length between 18 to 24cm.
South American Twist Neck TurtlePlatemys platycephala
The Twist Neck Turtle inhabits tropical rivers of Guyana, Peru, Brazil and other areas in North America. They are a medium sized Turtle, reaching an adult size of 18cm.
South American Wood TurtleRhinoclemmys punctularia
The South American Wood Turtle is an ideal beginner species, they inhabits ponds and marshes of Brazil and Columbia. Adults reach a length between 20 and 30cm, females being larger.
Spiny Soft Shell TurtleTrionyx spinifer
The spiny softshell turtle is one of the largest freshwater species of turtle in North America. They get their name from the cone shapes on the front of their carapace.
Sulcata TortoiseGeochelone sulcata
The Sulcata or Giant African Spur Thigh Tortoise is the second largest mainland tortoise in the world.
Sumatra Leaf TurtleCyclemys dentata
The Sumatra Leaf Turtle can reach an adult size of up to 25cm. Youngsters tend to be mainly aquatic whereas adults spend more time on land.
West African Mud TurtlePelusios castaneus
West African Mud Turtle are medium to large, females can reach a size of 29cm, males are generally smaller. They spend most of their time within weedy waters of West Africa.
Yellow Bellied TurtleTrachemys scripta scripta
Yellow Belly Turtles are one of the best beginner species to keep. They reach a size between 5 to 8 inch, females are larger.
Yellow Foot TortoiseGeochelone denticulata
Yellow Foot Tortoise reach an adult size of 16-20 inches, some can be as large as 28 inches, but this is rare. They can be found in South America over a wide range from Bolivia through Brazil.