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Eastern Box Turtle   

Terrapene carolina carolina

State Listing: Special Concern

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species



Size:                  A medium sized turtle measuring 4.5 to 7 inches in

                           length (SLC).


Color:                Box turtles have a domed carapace with variable yellow

                           to orange blotches. The plastron is hinged and typically

                           dark black to brown in color with light blotches.            


Behavior:         Box turtles are terrestrial spending their time in a variety

                           of upland habitats throughout the year.  They rely on their

                           cryptic coloration and behavior to avoid detection.  Box

                           turtles are very docile and rarely attempt to bite when

                           handled.  Females nest in late May and June, when they

                           are often seen crossing roadways on their way to nesting

                           habitats.  Box turtles can also be seen crossing

                           roadways throughout the year while moving across the

                           landscape between habitat types.


Habitat:            Box turtles are terrestrial, seasonally moving between

                          upland habitats including open canopy fields and closed

                          canopy forest habitats.  During the warmer months they

                          may retreat to wetlands. 



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