Trachemys venusta — Mesoamerican Slider
Some other names for this species:
This species was formerly included in Trachemys scripta.
Subspecies I've seen:
T. v. panamensis
Trachemys venusta panamensis — Panamanian Slider
Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Panama province, Panama—April 18, 2001
The outdoor dining patio of the beautiful Gamboa Rainforest Resort overlooks a calm section of the Chagres river, packed with these turtles and a few caimans. The hotel staff tossed an occasional hunk of bread into the water, provoking a turtle feeding frenzy (as with sharks, only less frightening).
When we saw them, we didn't know if the two turtles posing in a picturesque pond were the local Mesoamerican Sliders or the non-native but practically cosmopolitan Red-eared Sliders. I wouldn't say that I am certain now, but after studying the photos and the species descriptions I'm reasonably confident that these are the local turtles.
- Ernst, C. H., Barbour, R. W. 1989. Turtles of the World