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
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.