Synonym(s): Box tortoise, Terrapene carolina
- Kingdom: Animalia.
- Phylum: Chordata.
- Class: Reptilia.
- Order: Testudines.
- Suborder: Cryptodira.
- Family: Emydidae.
- Genus: Terrapene.
- Species: carolina, carolina carolina, carolina bauri, carolina major, carolina triunguis, carolina mexicana, carolina yucatana, carolina coahulia, nelsoni, nelsoni klauberi, nelsoni nelsoni, ornata, ornata ornata, ornata luteola.
Distribution and habitat
- Native to North America.
- Common box turtle (Terrapene carolina): most widely distributed species, found in the United States and Mexico.
- Ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata):
- Found in the southern United States.
- Found mainly in grasslands.
- Coahuilan box turtle (Terrapene coahuila):
- Only found in Mexico.
- Found in marshes, cacti, and places with a constant supply of water.
- Spotted box turtle (Terrapene Nelsoni): only found in Mexico.
- Before hibernation, all species will move into woodland.
- Most individuals will not move far from their original home.
- Common predators include raccoons, foxes, possums, dogs, skunks, rodents, minks, birds and snakes.
- Coahuilan box turtle: listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- Common box turtle: listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
- Ornate box turtle: listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List.
- In the wild, 50+ years.
- In captivity, 20-50 years.
- They will usually eat anything they can find Chelonia nutrition.
- Common foods include; insects, worms, fruits, vegetation.
- Diet should be around 60-80% vegetables, 10-20% fruits, and 10% insects.
- Multiple species/variations are currently recognized, including 4 main species:
- Common box turtle (Terrapene carolina).
- Coahuilan box turtle (Terrapene Coahuila).
- Spotted box turtle (Terrapene Nelsoni).
- Ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornate ornate).
- Females lay clutch sizes of between 1-7 eggs.
- Females can lay more than one clutch per year Chelonia reproduction.
- Breeding season is usually spring/early summer, but is species dependent.
- If they are purchased as pets, it is recommended to avoid purchasing them in winter and fall, as this is their usual hibernation period.
- The care of each turtle is species dependent, so research is advised.
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Other sources of information
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- Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Kingdom for Scientific Name containing 'terrapene'. Website: www.itis.gov. Last accessed 15th June 2018.