Box Turtles Care - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Box Turtles Care

By: Dr. David Nieves

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
The name box turtle rises from their unique and often frustrating ability to withdraw their entire bodies within their shells, or "box" themselves in. Their natural range includes eastern, central, southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the past, many of the turtles sold in pet stores were wild caught, and because of this fact, they have been classified as CITES III-vulnerable. This classification requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to start to monitor the numbers of these turtles that are being exported for the pet industry and food.

Within the United States, certain states have strict regulations regarding the collection and possession of these reptiles. It is also important to know that it is illegal for pet stores to sell turtles less than 4 inches (carapace length) due to the health problems associated with small children putting small turtles in their mouths. So the take home message is, that if possible, do not buy box turtles from your local pet store but rather try obtaining one from a breeder, local herpetological society, turtle and tortoise group or, in some places, reptile rescue groups.

In North America there are primarily four species of box turtles:

  • Eastern box turtle – Terrapene carolina carolina
  • Three-toed box turtle – Terrapene carolina truinguis
  • Gulf Coast box turtle – Terrapene carolina major
  • Ornate box turtle – Terrapene ornata

    Interesting Facts

  • Female turtles are generally smaller than males.
  • Box turtles live typically between 30 to 40 years but some can live a lot longer.
  • Box turtles are partially aquatic (water-lovers).
  • Box turtles can grow to have a shell size between 4.5 to 8 inches depending on species and gender.

    Basic Turtle Terminology

  • Carapace - the upper portion of the bony shell
  • Plastron - the lower portion of the bony shell
  • Scutes - horny plates that make up the surface of the turtle's shell

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Dog Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful dog photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Box Turtles Care

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me