Eastern Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina carolina

Animal Ambassadors


Box turtles are easily distinguishable by their brightly-patterned, hinged shell, which allows them to retract almost completely to hide from danger. Eastern box turtles are largely terrestrial, although they do prefer to live in areas that are adjacent to marshes, ponds, or streams, or areas that experience heavy rainfall. Aside from their need for water access, box turtles live in a variety of environments, ranging from shrubby grasslands to open forests. They are impressively opportunistic eaters, consuming a wide variety of vegetation and small animals. Young box turtles tend to eat more meat because they require more protein and energy while growing. After they reach maturity at around 5 years of age, they usually transition to a more herbivorous diet. Eastern box turtles’ breeding season starts in the spring and lasts all the way through the fall; females can store sperm for up to 4 years, which allows them to lay eggs when conditions are most ideal.

Plants, fruits, flowers, worms, roots, fungi, insects, small vertebrates, eggs, carrion
Along the East Coast and west as far as Texas and Michigan
Average 25-35 years / Up to 100 years
Shrubby grasslands, marshy meadows, open forests
Length / Wingspan:
4 inches by 6 inches