Eastern Box Turtle

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina

Habitat: Eastern box turtles are found throughout the forested regions of the eastern United States. 

Diet: Eastern box turtles are omnivores and are known to eat berries, mushrooms, roots, greens, insects, and invertebrates such as snails, slugs, and worms. 

Size: 0.5 to 0.6 feet long

Weight: Around 2 pounds

Lifespan: 30 to 50 years in the wild. Up to 100 in human care. 

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status

What does this mean?

Vulnerable – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to possess a high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 30 to more than 50 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 1,000 individuals, or other factors.

Our Eastern Box Turtle:

Betty – Estimated Birthdate between May 1989 & May 1999

Did You Know?!

  • Box turtle shells are unique, with hinges on the underside that allow the turtle to pull in and close up completely when threatened. Once ‘boxed’ in, their shells are almost impossible to pry open.
  • Males box turtles usually have red eyes and a concave plastron (bottom of their shell), while females have brown eyes and a flat plastron (bottom of their shell).
  • Baby box turtles are rarely seen! The hinge for their shell does not develop until 3 or 4 years.
  • Female box turtles can not reproduce until they are about 10 years old.