The western swamp turtle is only active for half the year, spending the dry summer months in a dormant state known as aestivation (4). Within the Ellen Brook Nature Reserve individuals tend to aestivate in holes in the clay soil whilst turtles at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve are more commonly found seeking protection under leaf litter or fallen branches (4). The swamps begin to fill up with water in June and July, when turtles can be found foraging for live food including insect larvae, earthworms and tadpoles (2). As temperatures rise the turtles increase their food intake, putting on excess fat for the months of dormancy to come (4). By November, the swamps are drying out and the turtles leave the water to aestivate through the summer and autumn (4).
Western swamp turtles are unusual in that they only produce one clutch of eggs per year and they are the only turtles to dig a nest with their front, rather than back, flippers (4). In November and early December, three to five hard-shelled eggs are laid into the nest, and are then covered. Eggs will stay in the nest for the summer months; hatchlings emerging the following winter (2). It is thought that western swamp turtles may live for as long as 60 or 70 years (5).