THREE-TOED BOX TURTLE

Terrapene carolina triunguis

TERRAPIN FAMILY (Emydidae)


Description
This turtle reaches about 6 inches in length and lives, at least in captivity, to 25 years and beyond. Their domed shell (carapace) is an olive color, with little or no other coloration. It does have some variable yellow, white and red around the head. This specimen is probably a male; they have the red or orange eyes. Females have brown eyes.

Occurrence
This sub-species does not normally occur in our area. As far as we know, this is the only sighting of this sub-species in Fontenelle Forest - in early September 2006. Because these turtles are often kept as pets, we assume it was either released or has escaped.

Comments
Box turtles can retract all body parts into its upper shell (carapace), and pull their lower part (plastron) tightly against it for excellent protection against predators.



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