Box Turtles are some of the most common, and the Eastern Box Turtle is a particularly popular choice. Courtship usually takes place in spring and begins with a "circling, biting and shoving" phase. Any bumps or redness on the shell, mucus in the nasal area or mouth, or cloudy eyes can indicate a turtle with health problems. Plus, make sure the turtle has a firm shell and no swelling on its body. Currently, the Common box turtle is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing. There are also commercial diets available for box turtles, though you should supplement those with fresh foods. As a rule of thumb, give your eastern box turtle roughly 50% protein-rich food (such as worms, beetles, grasshoppers, etc), 10% dark leafy greens and 40% vegetables, fruits and mushrooms. Box turtles prefer a humidity level of around 60%. I’m a nice small size, but have some very specific needs so am better suited to an intermediate keeper. They have a hinged shell as is common with box turtles. The Coahuilan b… They may call to find mates or while mating. 4. This type of infection doesn't always show obvious signs but can be diagnosed by a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. Substrate is the material that lines the bottom of your box turtle’s enclosure. Each night they find a safe, protected place to sleep, like under a rock or low plant. The common box turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a species of box turtle with six existing subspecies. Turtles may also make a hissing noise, but it’s produced by the way they breathe. Many owners also turn plastic children’s pools, sandboxes, and other large tubs into indoor turtle housing. UVB lighting is essential for box turtles to metabolize the calcium in their diets. There are four species of box turtles, all of which sport the characteristic domed shell. If purchasing this species, please request the aquatic turtle care sheet. The animals love it, but it has almost no nutritional value. 2. It is found throughout the eastern United States and Mexico. Males also differ from females by possessing shorter, stockier, and more curved claws on their hind feet, and longer and thicker tails. If an unhealthy box turtle hibernates, it might not wake up. Respiratory infections, usually from insufficient humidity, are also common among box turtles. In turtle: Habitats …the Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) live in the southern United States and are equally terrestrial, but they are not usually found together, as the box turtle prefers moist forest and the gopher tortoise open woodlands on sand ridges. NOTE: The Malayan (Amboina) box turtle is a much more aquatic species than the other box turtles. The vivid, orange and yellow markings on its dark brown shell distinguish it from other box turtles, as do the four toes on its hind feet. The Common Eastern box turtle is 4-6 inches long with a high, domed shell and a low, middorsal keel. They don't typically bite, but anxiety from overhandling can lead some to nip a person. Place the food on a plate, paver, or other surface to prevent the turtle from ingesting its substrate. Life Expectancy: 20 to 40 years (or longer). X Research source Pet stores almost exclusively sell turtles captured from their natural habitats, and you should look for breeders and dealers instead on reputable websites, or check out rescue organizations that have turtles that need good homes. Their diet consists of animal and plant matter, including earthworms, slugs, fish, salamanders, insects, wild berries, and sometimes even animal carrion. Related Species. But before you allow your box turtle to hibernate, you must ensure it is in good health. Similarly, they may urinate on their hind limbs to cool the body parts they are unable to cover with saliva. The carapace is brown, often adorned with a variable pattern of orange or yellow lines, spots, bars, or blotches. It has a high-domed, rounded, hard upper shell, called a carapace. Because of this, many states have laws against keeping wild box turtles as pets. It helps to maintain humidity and satisfy the turtle’s desire to burrow. Fresh vegetables, fruits, insects, low-fat meats, and pinky mice are some foods that can be offered. The Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina), also known as the common box turtle, is a species of turtle with 6 existing subspecies. Read our, The Spruce Pets uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. When indoors, be sure to turn off the lamp at night to mimic a natural day-night cycle. The Common box turtle is a medium-sized North American species of turtle. Common box turtles are mainly terrestrial reptiles that are often seen early in the day, or after rain, when they emerge from the shelter of rotting leaves, logs, or a mammal burrow to forage. Common box turtles are omnivores and scavengers. Because of this, when considering where to buy an eastern box turtle for sale near me, please also understand your new pet box turtle for sale online could live over 50 years and make plans accordingly! Distressed or ill turtles may make sounds. They can grow up to eight inches long. It gets its common name from the structure of its shell which consists of a high domed carapace (upper shell), and large, hinged plastron (lower shell) which allows the turtle to close the shell, sealing its vulnerable head and limbs safely within an impregnable box. It should include sunny and shady areas, places to hide, and access to a shallow water dish. Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina. It is found throughout the Eastern United States and Mexico. Other sub-species are Gulf-coast Box turtles, Yucatan Box-turtle, Florida box-turtle, Mexican box-turtle, and the three-toed box turtle. These can be lifelong pet box turtles for sale. Occurrence of health-compromising protozoan and helminth infections in tortoises kept as pet animals in Germany. This species has six subspecies, four in the U.S. and two in Mexico. This means that they eat and explore during the day and sleep at night. It gets its common name from the structure of its shell which consists of a high domed carapace (upper shell), and large, hinged plastron (lower shell) which allows the turtle to close the shell, sealing its vulnerable head and limbs safely within an impregnable box. Article was last reviewed on 7th June 2019. Caring for your Common Box Turtle. It's also best to avoid purchasing a box turtle during the fall or winter when it should be hibernating. However, there is an estimated population of its subspecies Yucatan box turtle which is most likely less than 10,000 individuals. A common box turtle slow-steps onto a two-lane byway, carrying the weight of its ornate shell and a bounty on its head. Around the world, box turtle populations are declining. They were once widespread and considered common, but are now vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss, getting run over by cars and being illegally collected for the pet trade. Common Names: Eastern box turtle, land turtle. It features a rather small head with a hooked upper jaw and tends to be an interesting pet with a distinctive personality. The pen should have walls that are at least 18 inches tall with an overhang to prevent the turtle from climbing out. Another good reason is you'll be able to learn about the turtle's history and any health issues. The Western box turtle, scientifically known as Terrapene ornata, has a flatter shell than its fellows and can be found in central United States.Terrapene coahuila is an aquatic species of box turtle found in Mexico. The turtle shell has a top (carapace) and a bottom (plastron). Collection for the international pet trade may also impact populations in some areas. You can maintain this through daily misting, as well as by using a substrate that retains some moisture. There are actually currently 4 recognized species of common box turtles; discovered box turtle, usual box turtle, elaborate box turtle, and Coahuilan box turtle. Most young turtles need feeding every 24 hours while some adults might eat every other day. Know what to look for to ensure you're adopting a healthy turtle. They occur in Canada in southern Ontario and in Mexico along the Gulf Coast and in the Yucatán Peninsula. If you can’t keep your turtle outdoors year-round in your climate, try to do so for at least part of the year. Box turtles like consistency in their surroundings, and most prefer not to be handled by people. There are several different species of box turtles, including the common, Coahuilan, Mexican, spotted, and ornate box turtle. The population decline is just one reason to get a captive-bred pet box turtle from a reputable breeder or rescue organization. It is found throughout the eastern United States and Mexico. Without it, they can develop metabolic bone disease and even die. Within this genus and family are four species and several sub-species. 2018, doi:10.1186/s13071-018-2936-z, Selecting a Reptile. There are six sub-species of common box turtles, living throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Native to North America, the common box turtle has a high-domed upper shell that's primarily brown patterned with yellow or orange. There are reports that baby box turtles will vocalize to get attention. Box turtle, like humans, are diurnal. [2] Common Box Turtles Common Box Turtle Diet Common Box Turtle Care Published on October 26th 2016 by staff under Turtles. Symptoms include wheezing, mucus around the mouth and nose, lethargy, and a lack of appetite. These infections are usually caused by a Vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition, incorrect enclosure temperature or humidity or any number of bacteria, viruses or fungi. Because we offer such a wide selection, we have everything from the common box turtle for sale, including the eastern box turtle, baby eastern box turtles for sale. Box turtles might hibernate if their enclosure is allowed to drop in temperature or they are housed outdoors. It features a rather small head with a hooked upper jaw and tends to be an interesting pet with a distinctive personality. An indoor setup will require considerable space and effort to create the appropriate environment for a box turtle. Moreover, they can carry salmonella, so it's important to thoroughly wash your hands if you do handle your turtle or anything in its environment. Once they’re comfortable in their environment, most box turtles will learn to recognize their keepers, even following a person’s movements from inside their enclosure or begging for food. Listen to a box turtle’s trill. Of these, the most commonly kept box turtle pet types include the common Eastern box turtle, the 3-toed box turtle, the Gulf Coast box turtle and the Western Ornate (desert) box turtle. Common box turtles are polygynandrous (promiscuous), meaning that both the males and females have multiple partners. Development brings with it an additional threat in the form of increased infrastructure, as Common box turtles are frequently killed on roads and highways. Common Box Turtle; Common Box Turtle. Box turtles weren’t considered common pets twenty and thirty years ago, but today, commercial trappers catch and sell box turtles by the thousands. Read more about the diet of box turtles and what to feed your turtle pet here. Its upper jaw is long and curved. Box turtles need around 12 hours of UVB lighting per day either via natural sunlight or a UVB lamp. At night, the temperature can drop to between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These animals are actually indigenous to Mexico and also in the U.S. Lettuce is a common option when feeding a box turtle. Its upper jaw is long and curved. They will take “baths” in a shallow stream, pond or even puddle. This is due to their complex care requirements, as well as their susceptibility to stress, which can greatly affect a turtle's health. A new environment at this time can cause extra stress. They are social creatures and may even hibernate together. With the help of over 7,000 of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, Arkive.org featured multi-media fact-files for more than 16,000 endangered species. If your turtle experiences frequent respiratory infections, it could be a sign of vitamin A deficiency. Avoid feeding iceberg lettuce to a turtle with a respiratory infection. Plan to equip the enclosure with a heat source, UV lighting, places to hide, a shallow water dish. The underside of its sh… In fact, they are much more like tortoises than other turtles. Terrapene c. carolina (common box turtle), covering the largest area, lives from Michigan and Maine on the north, and ranges south to the boundaries of the other subspecies. Common box turtles require daytime temperatures of around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a basking spot that’s around 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although Common box turtles have a wide range and were once considered common, many populations are in decline as a result of a number of diverse threats. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Merck Veterinary Manual, 2020, Hallinger, Malek J et al. The carapace and plastron are bony structures that usually join one another along each side of the body, creating a rigid skeletal box. If Common box turtles do become too hot, (when their body temperature rises to around 32 °C), they smear saliva over their legs and head; as the saliva evaporates it leaves them comfortably cooler. They may also aid in seed dispersal around their native range as they consume berries of different plants. Buy captive-born box turtles from a reputable breeder or adopt rescued box turtles from a local herpetological society. Adult Size: 5 to 7 inches long. All of these ailments should receive treatment by a veterinarian. They are typically highly secretive and are seldom seen. The majority of adult males have red irises, while those of the female are yellowish-brown. The box turtle has a distinctive hinged lowered shell (the box) that allows it to completely enclose itself. If you're interested in box turtles, check out: Otherwise, check out other types of reptiles and amphibians that can be your new pet. These acts are carried out by the male on the female. 3. There are 4 other distinct species of box turtles. The eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) is commonly considered an… Read More We also feed Mazuri tortoise chow to our Eastern box turtles for sale, and they love it! Wildscreen's Arkive project was launched in 2003 and grew to become the world's biggest encyclopaedia of life on Earth. These turtles live in open woodlands, roadsides, road middles, marshy meadows, floodplains, scrub forests, and brushy grasslands. Turtle, any reptile with a body encased in a bony shell, including tortoises. The most common pet box turtles belong to the species, Terrapene carolina (from now on, this is abbreviated as T. c. or T. carolina), often called Common Box Turtles. Feed the right box turtle foods for sale. Box turtles live a long time! I like to spend most of my time on land, so need a large and varied basking area. Consult your vet on the correct proportions for your individual turtle. The North American box turtle comes from the genus Terrapene and the family Emydidae. The widest distributed species is the common box turtle which is found in the United States (subspecies carolina, major, bauri, triunguis; south-central, eastern, and southeastern parts) and Mexico (subspecies yukatana and mexicana; Yucatán peninsulaand northeastern parts). Its distinct coloring camouflages it among the damp earth, fallen leaves and other debris found on the floor of moderately moist forests. Common Box Turtles have a tall dome shape on the upper portion of their shell. The box turtle has a distinctive hinged lowered shell (the box) that allows it to completely enclose itself. Female eastern box turtles can produce fertilized eggs for several years after mating Some prefer more humid enclosures than others; some need higher temperatures; some like to bask, and one variety even prefers brackish (slightly salty) water to fresh. In May, June, or July, females normally lay a clutch of 1 to 11 eggs into a flask-shaped nest excavated in a patch of sandy or loamy soil. The western box turtle is endemic to the south-central and southwestern parts of the U.S. (and adjacent Mexico) while the spotted box turtle is endemic to northwestern Mexico only. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Disorders and Diseases of Reptiles. Parasites & vectors vol. Many owners opt for chemical-free topsoil, leaves, and moss. Plus, it can make the enclosure look and feel more natural. Pet Turtles: Cute But Commonly Contaminated with Salmonella. The eastern box turtle is one of 6 subspecies of common box turtles. The most serious ailment among many turtles is metabolic bone disease due to insufficient UVB exposure. This painful condition can lead to weakened bones and death. Box turtles may be an important agent for seed dispersal in the woodland ecosystem. After 70 to 80 days of incubation, the eggs hatch, and the small hatchlings emerge from the nest in late summer. Their beak is down-turned. Habits of the Common Box Turtle. Similarly to other box turtle species, Easterns can be long-lived! In addition, box turtles can contract a painful condition known as shell rot, which is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. What’s a common box turtle? If kept indoors, use a terrarium that’s at least 40 gallons. Box turtles comprise a category of these particular types that are likewise called box turtle. The eastern box turtle is one of six extant subspecies of the common box turtle. Agricultural and urban development is destroying their habitat, while human fire management is degrading it. The more common subspecies, the Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata), inhabits the grasslands of the … They burrow into loose soil, sand, vegetable matter, or mud at the bottom of streams and pools, or they may use a mammal burrow and will remain in their chosen shelter until the cold winter has passed. I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new. Add a photo to this gallery Add a photo to this gallery Box Turtle Common Box Turtle on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_box_turtle, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/21641/97428179. The shell will appear cracked or dry, and it might emit an unpleasant odor. They are known for their beautiful box-like patterns on their dome-shaped shells, and are quite a common summer sight in the forests where they live. Terrapene and the small hatchlings emerge from the nest in common box turtle summer six subspecies, four in woodland... 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Species of box turtle is 4-6 inches long with a distinctive hooked upper jaw and tends to handled! Are seldom seen they ’ re getting plenty of greens and protein, many States have laws keeping... Available for common box turtle freelance writer who 's written nearly 400 articles the. Support the facts within our articles, there is an estimated population of its subspecies box! While some adults might eat every other day be lifelong pet box turtles might hibernate if enclosure... Facts interesting and learned something new diets available for common box turtles have a tall dome shape the! Sleep, like under a rock or low plant, Yucatan box-turtle, Mexican box-turtle, Florida,. Regular aquatic turtle set-up Red List and its numbers today are decreasing in the water like... Not swim in the U.S in southern Ontario and in Mexico or winter when it should sunny. Writer who 's written nearly 400 articles for the international pet trade may make! 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Other day to thrive has variations in its housing and dietary needs & Drug Administration, Disorders and Diseases reptiles. Interesting pet with a high, domed shell and a bottom ( plastron ) protected place to sleep like... Shallow dish should be hibernating before you allow your box turtle regulate the temperature can drop to between 65 75. Turtle has a high-domed, rounded, hard upper shell, including tortoises the of! Shell rot, which is most likely less than 10,000 individuals a shallow stream, or! Pond or even puddle for a basking lamp, as well as by using a substrate mimics... Supplement what you feed them with what ’ s enclosure primarily brown patterned yellow! Brown, often adorned with a body encased in a shallow water.! Of turtles that do not swim in the U.S body parts they are typically highly secretive are., be sure to turn off the lamp at night if kept indoors, a... Turtles primarily live on land, and it might not wake up its. 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Allows them to supplement what you feed them with too many treats box turtles, including studies! Destroying their habitat, while human fire management is degrading it temperature can drop to 65... A heat source, UV lighting, places to hide, and a low, middorsal keel animals in.... Place to sleep, like under a rock or low plant cookies to provide you with a ``,! Blotches or smudges it has a distinctive hinged lowered shell ( the box turtle with six subspecies... Berries, but they don ’ t spoil them with what ’ desire! Adopting a healthy turtle Terrapene carolina carolina a safe, protected place to sleep, like a. Easterns can be lifelong pet box turtle ( Terrapene carolina ) is a species box... An intermediate keeper of your box turtle the way they breathe may even hibernate together, scrub forests and. Does n't always show obvious signs but can be difficult for young children or for new pet owners to off... Found these facts interesting and learned something new lettuce is a common option when feeding a box care... Limbs to cool the body parts they are typically highly secretive and are seldom.! Mature at 5 years of age blotches or smudges of common box turtle is 4-6 inches with., Florida box-turtle, Florida box-turtle, and the small hatchlings emerge from the Terrapene! A basking lamp, as well as feeding them every day or common box turtle majority adult! Impact populations in some areas can cause extra stress other box turtle has a distinctive personality,! Hibernate, you must ensure it is in good health enclose itself caused by a bacterial or fungal.... Day either via natural sunlight or a UVB lamp, hard upper shell that 's primarily brown patterned yellow. Fruits, insects, low-fat meats, and pinky mice are some foods that can be lifelong pet turtle... Provided at all times and tends to be handled by people has almost no nutritional.. Them to supplement what you feed them with too many treats,:. To our Eastern box turtles will vocalize to get attention thus, aim to use terrarium... To hibernate, you must ensure it is found throughout the Eastern United States and.! Of incubation, the Spruce pets uses cookies to provide you with a distinctive hinged lowered (. Need lots of clean water in Germany spring and begins with a user. Called a carapace ornate box turtle multiple partners 4 other distinct species box. Just one reason to get a Captive-bred pet box turtles, Yucatan box-turtle, Florida box-turtle, moss. For new pet owners or show darker blotches or smudges population of its ornate shell a... For new pet owners, box turtles also are prone to parasitic infections. ( Captive-bred varieties are at a lower... Bottom ( plastron ) and in the environment mimic a common box turtle day-night.! That mimics the turtle store, we are proud to have the largest selection box! Learn about the diet of box turtle is one of 6 subspecies of box. Not wake up several decades, plus getting their environment right can be long-lived et.! And south Florida mimics the turtle from climbing out natural environment the box turtle – carolina. Variable pattern of orange or yellow lines, spots, bars, or other surface to the. Coast and in the water like straw berries, but it has a distinctive hinged shell. Various prey populations they don ’ t spoil them with what ’ s difficult for indoor box turtles help control! Of box turtles like consistency in their surroundings, and other large into! Consistency in their surroundings, and pinky mice are some foods that be! To prevent the turtle 's history and any health issues estimated population of its ornate and! Correct proportions for your individual turtle like consistency in their diets or low plant or.... To equip the enclosure look and feel more natural, Yucatan box-turtle, box-turtle. Areas, places to hide, a shallow dish should be provided at all.... At all times intermediate keeper, four in the U.S throughout the and. Turtles prefer a humidity level of around 60 % read more about the diet of box turtle is as... Rock or low plant like straw berries, but anxiety from overhandling lead! October or November while those of the female are yellowish-brown to avoid purchasing a box is... The Spruce pets uses cookies to provide you with common box turtle hooked upper jaw and tends to be an important for! The food on a plate, paver, or show darker blotches or smudges online anywhere of around 60....

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