Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle
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  • Item #: EBT

Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina

 Identification: Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orangish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches. Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks. In some isolated populations, males may have blue patches on their cheeks, throat, and front legs. Furthermore, males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes. Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base. Eastern box turtles have 5 toes on each front leg, and normally 4 toes on each hind leg, although some individuals may possess 3 toes on each hind leg. Staying small in size, most range from 4.5 to 6 inches, but occasionally reach over 7 inches.

Range: The eastern box turtle is found mainly in the eastern United States, as is implied by its name. They occur as far north as southern Maine and the southern and eastern portions of the Michigan Upper Peninsula, south to southern Florida and west to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Diet: There are a variety of foods which are universally accepted by eastern box turtles, which include earthworms, snails, slugs, grubs, beetles, caterpillars, grasses, fallen fruit, berries, mushrooms, flowers, bread, duck weed, and carrion.

Box turtles are slow crawlers, extremely long lived, slow to mature, and have relatively few offspring per year.

When injured or damaged, the shell of the Eastern Box Turtle has the capacity to regenerate and reform. Granular tissue slowly forms and keratin slowly grows underneath the damaged area to replace damaged and missing scutes. Over time, the damaged area falls off, revealing the new keratin formed beneath it. Unlike water turtles, box turtle scutes continue to grow throughout the turtle's life and develop growth rings. Water turtles typically shed their scutes as they grow.

Thousands of box turtles are collected from the wild every year for the domestic pet trade, primarily from South Carolina, the only remaining state where they can legally be captured from the wild and sold for profit. The eastern box turtle is protected throughout most of its range but many states allow the capture and possession of box turtles for personal use. Captive breeding is fairly commonplace, but not so much that it can supply the market demand.

 



 
Price $129.00
Availability Out-of-Stock

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