Do Turtles Eat Snakes? Or Snakes eat Turtles?

Turtles, particularly snapping turtles, can eat snakes. However, this behavior is not common and largely depends on the specific species and circumstances.

If you’ve ever wondered about the dietary habits of turtles and snakes, you’re in the right place.

This article will delve into the fascinating world of these two reptiles, exploring whether turtles eat snakes, and vice versa.

Do Turtles Eat Snakes?

When it comes to the question, “Do turtles eat snakes?” the answer is not straightforward.

While it’s not a common occurrence, there have been instances where turtles, particularly snapping turtles, have been known to eat snakes.

Snapping turtles are known for their powerful jaws and carnivorous diet, which can include a variety of aquatic animals, including snakes.

However, it’s important to note that not all turtles eat snakes.

Many turtles are primarily herbivores or omnivores, preferring to eat a diet of vegetables and fruits, aquatic plants, and small insects.

In the case of freshwater turtles, their diet can be quite diverse.

Some species are omnivores, consuming a mix of plants, amphibians, and small fish.

Others, like the snapping turtle, have a more carnivorous diet and have been known to consume snakes.

It’s also worth noting that turtles, including freshwater turtles, are known to eat their own eggs in certain circumstances.

This behavior is usually observed in captive turtles and is believed to be a response to nutritional deficiencies.

So, while it’s not common for turtles to eat snakes, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, especially for species with a more carnivorous diet like the snapping turtle.

Can Snakes Eat Turtles?

On the flip side, can snakes eat turtles? Again, the answer is complex.

Some larger snakes have been known to eat small turtles, especially baby turtles that can’t defend themselves effectively.

However, a turtle’s shell provides significant protection, and many snakes would struggle to consume and digest a full-grown turtle.

Additionally, some snakes don’t see turtles as food, especially if they’re not part of their natural diet.

The Diet of Turtles and Snakes

Turtles and snakes have diverse diets that depend on their species, habitat, and size. Turtles, for instance, can be herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores.

Some turtles like the red-eared slider, enjoy a diet of pellet food, feeder fish, insects, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Snapping turtles, on the other hand, are known to eat a more carnivorous diet, including fish, frogs, and even other turtles.

Snakes, in contrast, are primarily carnivores. They eat a diet that consists of small animals like mice, rats, and birds.

Some larger snakes may eat larger prey, including small turtles. However, snakes don’t eat often; they may eat once a week, or once every two weeks, depending on their size and species.

Does Turtle Attract Snake?

Turtles do not typically attract snakes. However, certain conditions might make your yard or home more appealing to snakes if you have a pet turtle.

For instance, if you feed your turtle in an outside space and leave some prey or turtle food out, this could potentially attract snakes.

Moreover, while adult turtles do not usually come under a snake’s diet regime, turtle eggs can. Snakes often search for turtle nests to eat their eggs.

So if you happen to see snakes near your turtle’s habitat, it is probably looking for an opportunity to prey on the eggs.

In general, having a pet turtle in your home would not be able to attract a wild snake.

It’s always important to ensure that your pet’s habitat is secure and that any outdoor feeding areas are cleaned regularly to avoid attracting unwanted wildlife.

This snake messed with the wrong turtle

Do Snakes Eat Turtle Egg?

Yes, certain species of snakes are known to eat turtle eggs.

Turtle nests can be an attractive food source for snakes, as the eggs are relatively easy to consume and provide a good source of nutrition.

This is more common in species of snakes that are known to consume eggs as part of their diet but the hard shell of turtle eggs can be a deterrent for some snake species.

It’s also important to note that this behavior can vary greatly depending on the species of snake and the availability of other food sources.

Can Turtles and Snakes Live Together?

When it comes to keeping snakes and turtles together, whether in the wild or in a shared habitat at home, it’s generally not recommended.

These two species have different habitat requirements and dietary needs.

Turtles spend most of their time in the water, stretching their neck so they need a basking area to regulate their body temperature.

Snakes, on the other hand, require a warm climate and specific lighting and water temperature conditions.

Additionally, the potential for conflict or predation is high, especially if the snake sees the turtle as potential food or vice versa.

In the wild, snakes are opportunistic feeders. This means they’ll eat almost anything they can overpower, which can sometimes include small or baby turtles.

However, the hard shell of a turtle is a formidable defense mechanism, and only a few snake species, such as the king cobra and the common kingsnake, have been known to eat turtles.

It’s also important to note that the diet of a snake largely depends on its size and species.

Larger snakes are capable of eating larger prey, while smaller snakes typically stick to smaller animals like rodents and amphibians.

So, while it’s possible for a snake to eat a turtle, it’s not a common occurrence and largely depends on the specific circumstances.

Read More: Do turtles eat other turtles? Read my post here.

The Habitat of Turtles and Snakes

Turtles and snakes each have specific habitat requirements.

Turtles, especially aquatic ones like the common snapping turtle and the red-eared slider, need water and a place to bask.

They can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, including ponds and lakes.

Snakes, on the other hand, can live in a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, and grasslands.

Some snakes like water and can swim, but they don’t spend as much time in the water as turtles do.

Caring for Turtles and Snakes as Pets

If you’re considering keeping a snake or a turtle as a pet, it’s important to understand their specific care requirements.

Both turtles and snakes need a suitable habitat, a proper diet, and regular care.

For turtles, this means a tank with plenty of water for swimming and a basking area for sunning themselves.

They also need a diet that’s appropriate for their species, which could include commercial turtlefood, fruits and vegetables, and even feeder fish or insects for some species.

Snakes, on the other hand, require a warm, secure enclosure with appropriate hiding spots.

Their diet typically consists of small animals like mice or rats, which can be purchased frozen from pet stores.

It’s also important to note that snakes don’t eat often; depending on their size and species, they may eat once a week, or once every two weeks.

If you’re considering keeping snakes and turtles together, it’s generally recommended to keep them in separate enclosures to prevent potential conflict or predation.

Each species has unique needs and keeping them together can lead to stress or health issues.


While there are instances where turtles eat snakes and snakes eat turtles, these are not common occurrences and largely depend on the specific species and circumstances.

Both turtles and snakes have diverse diets and habitat requirements, making them fascinating creatures to study and observe.

Whether you’re a turtle expert, a snake enthusiast, or just someone with a curiosity about these incredible reptiles, understanding their dietary habits and habitat needs is crucial.

So, whether you’re considering keeping a snake or a turtle as a pet, or you’re just interested in learning more about these amazing creatures, remember to respect their unique needs and natural behaviors.

About David Nitta

I am a lifelong lover of turtles and have dedicated years of research to understand and care about this wonderful creature. I regularly post blogs, mostly from what I read and my own experience, covering everything from turtle care, health, feeding habits, habitat setup, and so much more.