Welcome to Diamondback Terrapin World

This site is dedicated to the education and bringing awareness of diamondback terrapins, (malaclemys terrapin). This is such a unique and interesting turtle, unlike any other turtle on the planet. Please take time to explore the wealth of information provided on this site, including breeding, feeding, health care and tank setup ideas.

If you are on a mobile device press the menu button to see all of the categoriens.

Did you know?

Diamondback terrapins are only fully brackish water turtles on the planet. There are some other species of fresh water turtles that have adapted to living in low salt level brackish water areas. Brackish water is were fresh water meets the saltwater. A lot of this kind of water is found in large bays. Diamondback terrapins also live in areas with only salt water.

There are small island all around Florida that diamondback terrapins live on surrounded with all salt water. The Florida Keys is another example of this. They only access they have to fresh water is from the rain.

Why are they called terrapins?

Terrapin comes from the Algonquian (a Native American Tribe) word Terrapene used to describe diamondback terrapins.

Other sources indicate terrapin being derived from the Native American word meaning soft-skinned and/or edible turtle.

About Me

I have been working with diamondback terrapins since 1998. Turtles have been a passion of mine since I was a kid in the 80’s. I have been very fortunate to have worked with over 30 species of turtles and diamondback terrapins are by far my favorite. They have so much more personality than any other turtle I have worked with. They seem to have just about no fear of humans and rush to see you as soon as you enter the room.

In 1998 I shifted nearly all of my focus on to diamondback terrapins. While I am blessed to breed these wonderful turtle I am still just a hobbyist. I breed all of my turtles out of my house. I don’t have hundreds of turtles in fact truly the opposite I have a very manageable size group.


I have performed speaking engagements at local California Turtle and Tortoise Club chapters, reptile shows, public schools and other educational events. Beside breeding diamondback terrapins I am also passionate about educating people about this incredible turtle. Many of my diamondback terrapins have made their way into museums, education centers and zoos around the world.