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Eastern Box Turtle The common box turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a species of box turtle with six existing subspecies. It is found throughout the eastern United States and Mexico. The box turtle has a distinctive hinged lowered shell (the box) that allows it to completely enclose itself.<br />
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An interesting fact is that a female may lay fertile eggs for up to FOUR years after ONE successful mating.<br />
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Box turtles may live more than 100 years but unfortunately Common Box Turtle numbers are declining because of habitat loss, roadkill, and capture for the pet trade. The species is classified as Vulnerable to threats to its survival by the IUCN Red List. Extinction or extirpation is possible.  Common box turtle,Geotagged,Terrapene carolina,United States Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Eastern Box Turtle

The common box turtle (Terrapene carolina) is a species of box turtle with six existing subspecies. It is found throughout the eastern United States and Mexico. The box turtle has a distinctive hinged lowered shell (the box) that allows it to completely enclose itself.

An interesting fact is that a female may lay fertile eggs for up to FOUR years after ONE successful mating.

Box turtles may live more than 100 years but unfortunately Common Box Turtle numbers are declining because of habitat loss, roadkill, and capture for the pet trade. The species is classified as Vulnerable to threats to its survival by the IUCN Red List. Extinction or extirpation is possible.

    comments (11)

  1. Great Capture! Box turtles are so cool! I did some volunteer work tracking ornate box turtles with radio telemetry my first year in college. It was a lot of fun! Posted 4 years ago
    1. Thanks Travis.
      I want to get your opinion...I almost want to assume that, based on my location, that this is a sub-species Eastern Box Turtle (T.c.carolina). It's not that important but what do you think?
      Posted 4 years ago
      1. Box turtles can be very hard to distinguish between one another. The different sub-species don't necessarily have a specific or unique pattern that tells them apart. They all may have a slightly different pattern, but they may also all exhibit similar patterns that are totally varied and do not follow specific guidelines, if that makes sense. T. c. carolina has the widest distribution of the subspecies and is definitely a good bet for you have here. But, from most of the photos I have found, it more closely resembles T. c. major that could be at the very northern end of its range. But again, you can't really be certain in identifying the subspecies by pattern alone... Posted 4 years ago
    2. Tracking these guys must have been fun. By the way, I took a look at an Ornate Box Turtle on Wikipedia. What would differentiate this one from the Common box turtle other than the stripe down the back of this one as follows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornate_box_turtle#mediaviewer/File:Terrapene_ornata_ornata.jpg Posted 4 years ago
      1. It was a fun project. Honestly, very little differentiates the common box turtle and the ornate box turtle. They are of the same genus and share the same range throughout the mid-west. The common box turtle seems to be more of a generalist and can take to and thrive in a variety of habitats. The ornate box turtle, on the other hand, is more of a specialist, sticking almost exclusively to sandy habitats. Where I grew up in northwest Illinois, they only occur in a couple of protected areas where natural sand prairies remain. Posted 4 years ago
  2. Great photo, great species intro, and very well described. Beautiful! Posted 4 years ago
  3. I would pull for T. c. carolina
    I've only found the three toed subspecies and the ornate box turtle in the eastern edge of Kansas so I am not too familiar with the Eastern Box turtle subspecies. Looks like the Gulf Coast Box turtle may be a bit restricted to the south and unlikely to stretch that far north in Georgia
    Excellent Photo and species intro!
    Posted 4 years ago
    1. Yes, I think you are correct. This picture was taken in my back yard. We live north of Atlanta, so unless it was someone's released pet, it would almost have to be a T. c. carolina Posted 4 years ago
  4. Great photo and interesting info! Love those red eyes! Posted 4 years ago
    1. Thanks Claire,
      Yes those red eyes are on the males.
      We have missed you...where have you been? I asked Ferdy about you because I was worried that we had not heard anything from you for about a month or more, and he said you were traveling.
      Posted 4 years ago
  5. Ha ha! I have been a wandering, UK, Egypt and a weekend in New York. Bit of a rush in under 4 weeks and not much in the way of wildlife so happy to be home in the sunshine, surrounded by spiders and birds! So nice you missed me!!! Posted 4 years ago

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The common box turtle is a species of box turtle with six existing subspecies. It is found throughout the eastern United States and Mexico. The box turtle has a distinctive hinged lowered shell that allows it to completely enclose itself. Its upper jaw is long and curved.

The turtle is primarily terrestrial and eats a wide variety of plants and animals. The females lay their eggs in the summer. Turtles in the northern part of their range hibernate over the winter.

Common box.. more

Similar species: Turtles And Tortoises
Species identified by Lilygirl
View Lilygirl's profile

By Lilygirl

All rights reserved
Uploaded Dec 2, 2014. Captured Aug 3, 2014 08:00 in 101 East Main Street, Canton, GA 30114, USA.
  • NIKON D5000
  • f/5.6
  • 10/10000s
  • ISO450
  • 250mm