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Home > Turtles > Where to Buy a Mata Mata Turtle in 2023? Breeders & Tips

Where to Buy a Mata Mata Turtle in 2023? Breeders & Tips

Mata Mata Turtle

Are you looking for a unique, exotic pet turtle?  This is the place to be. The Mata Mata is a freshwater aquatic turtle. Its neutral colors create a perfect disguise because the reptile looks like tree bark and leaves floating in a river. Amazing, right?

But where can you find reputable turtle breeders? This guide rounds up all the information about the best Mata Mata breeders this year.

Pet Keen advocates for adopting before shopping. We understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder, though, so we encourage it to be done the right way. Learn more.divider-turtle

Mata Mata Breeders Near Me in the US

The Mata Matas prefer the muddy bottoms of slow-moving rivers for breeding instead of captivity. Nevertheless, some reputable breeders have successfully bred the turtle or hatched eggs laid in the wild.

You must purchase the Mata Mata from a breeder who is knowledgeable and experienced about this exotic breed.

To get you started, here is a list of Mata Mata breeders in the United States.

  • Delray Beach, FL

Big Apple Herp offers fast shipping services for their captive-bred Matamatas. The breeder understands that the turtle’s setup may be complex and offers to help buyers with that.

  • Rocklin, CA

Backwater Reptiles guarantee a 100% live guarantee on their Mata Mata turtles. The breeder sells turtles with shell lengths of less than four inches for scientific and educational purposes.

  • Fort Myers, FL

You can choose the Mata Mata gender at the Turtle Source. Additionally, there is an option for those owners who’d like to nurture a turtle with minor imperfections.

  • Deerfield Beach, FL

Underground Reptiles offer overnight shipping on all their animal orders. They also have outstanding customer support and secure checkout to guarantee safe purchases.

5. Turtle Store

  • (609) 408-8723
  • South New York Road Absecon, NJ

Turtle Store has a real biologist to guarantee the welfare of their captive-bred Mata Mata turtles. They ship the turtles in a heated and insulated package to keep them safe during transit.

  • Colorado, USA

Colorado Reptiles has been in the business for the past 30 years. They offer overnight shipping services, a live arrival guarantee, and 100% secure checkout.divider-turtle

How Much Does a Mata Mata Cost?

The price of a Mata Mata varies between breeders. You may have to spend between $275 and $950 to bring this turtle home.

Breeding the Mata Mata in captivity is challenging since they prefer to do so in the wild. The turtles lay eggs on decaying vegetation along the forest edges from October to December.

Simulating these environmental conditions proves challenging for most breeders. For this, they prefer to hatch the eggs laid by wild females. This is you may have to pay the price when buying this exotic turtle.

Things to Ask a Mata Mata Turtle Breeder

  • How Long They Have Been in Business – You should ask your breeder how long they have been in the turtle breeding business. Inquire whether they have notable accomplishments or credentials for their work. You can also ask for their customer reviews to gauge whether they are skilled in Mata Mata breeding.
  • Captive Bred or Wild Caught? – Ask the Mata Mata breeder whether the turtle is captive-bred or wild-caught. Wild-caught Matamatas do not do well in captivity and may get too stressed and stop eating. A captive-bred turtle transitions into a new environment easily than a wild one.
  • Live Guarantees – Most reputable Mata Mata breeders offer a live arrival guarantee as well as a 7-day health guarantee. So, ask your breeder if they have such offers that guarantee the wellbeing of your new pet.

The 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Mata Mata Turtle

1. Environment & Enclosure

Mata Matas is not an active species but can grow up to 17 to 18 inches long. This means that the turtle will require a large enclosure to move around, like a 60-gallon aquarium.

Apart from a large tank, water quality plays a crucial role in a Mata Mata’s life. The pH should be 5.0 to 5.5 with a temperature of 78 to 82 degrees F all year round. The water should have a depth of 3 to 4 inches for a hatchling and 8 to 10 inches for an adult.

It is essential to know that a perfect Matamata enclosure features the addition of tannins from sphagnum moss, leaves, and peat. The tank also needs good filtration to prevent unwanted bacteria in the water.

A Mata Mata needs hiding places in the aquarium. Aquatic plants, artificial plants do make suitable hiding spots, while a log or rock can make great basking places.

2. Matamatas Dislike Handling

Matamatas get stressed when handled too much. It is advisable only to handle imported turtles once they are established and comfortable. It is best to handle hatchlings after they’ve started eating and have signs of growth.

3. They are Picky Eaters

These turtles rarely eat commercial foods. They prefer eating live fish instead. For this, ensure you include several feeder fish in the enclosure for your pet to feed freely. Keep in mind that Mata Matas have trouble catching their prey when hungry. Therefore, always replenish its food stock.

4. They are Not Great Swimmers

Although the Matamatas are aquatic, they are not excellent swimmers. You’ll need to add a substrate like gravel, rocks, foliage, and wood pieces for the turtle to walk on.

5. It can Live up to 15 Years

In the wild, Matamatas can live up to 75 years. However, their lifespan is drastically reduced while in captivity. Expect to care for the turtle for the next 15 years or more.



Matamatas are unusual, exotic pets. They are aquatic and spend most of their lives in water. They do not get sick easily, but they need special care while in captivity.

Since they eat, sleep, and excrete in their enclosure, it is best to change the water regularly and filter it. In addition, owners should rarely handle the turtles to prevent stressing them. Also, keep them away from dogs and cats.

Featured Image Credit: Danny Ye, Shutterstock

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