Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Eastern Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina carolina

Description:

This common turtle can have a carapace length of about 6" (15 cm). They are usually brown or black with radiating yellow markings on each scute. The scales on the turtle's body may be yellow, orange, or reddish. Box turtles are called box turtles because they can withdraw their arms and legs, tail, and head into their shell and close up tightly. A hinge on the plastron allows them to do this. Males have a concave plastron, reddish eyes, and the cloaca is closer to the tip of the tail.

Habitat:

Box turtles are the most terrestrial of any turtle in West Virginia and Virginia. They are most often encountered during spring or summer after a rain shower. They are active during the day, wandering through forests or old fields in search of food -- earthworms, berries, mushrooms, etc. During the fall, box turtles move to valleys where they bury themselves under the soil or leaf litter. They hibernate in a shallow burrow in the soil. Like wood frogs and several other reptiles and amphibians, box turtles can survive freezing! Very cold periods during the winter may kill some turtles though.

Notes:

This little tortoise visited my house during summer a couple years ago. It was just after a quick rain, and it was the first and last time I saw a turtle around here.

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

DDO
Spotted by
DDO

Virginia, USA

Spotted on Jul 7, 2009
Submitted on Nov 1, 2012

Spotted for Mission

Reference

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team