Three-Toed Box Turtle

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina triunguis

Habitat: Three-toed box turtles are found throughout the forested regions of the eastern United States. 

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

Size: 5.7 feet tall / 4.6 to 5.4 feet long

Weight: 110 to 130 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 20 years in the wild. Up to 35 years 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.

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.