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Ornate Box Turtle

Terrapene ornata

Description:

Box turtles are so neat. Ornate box turtles are a lot like Eastern box turtles, but have a lot of "ornate" markings on their belly. They also have "starburst" patterns of lighter color radiating on the carapace. I think that our ornate box turtles (at least on MI) maintain the coloring, whereas I've seen a lot of Eastern box turtles basically lose their patterns over time.

Habitat:

Box turtles are NOT marine turtles and they don't like swimming. They do like prairie and pastureland, and on Matagorda Island I find them crossing the road between coastal grassland prairie (which has a lot of little bluestem).

Notes:

Matagorda Island is managed by the Aransas NWR. I know this is kind of an old photo, but I hadn't posted an ornate box turtle pic yet. I wish I had a more recent pic, but to be honest, I haven't seen a box turtle in a long time. This could be because of drought conditions in the past few years, or because I haven't been spending as much time on MI as I used to...

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sunswimer02
Spotted by
sunswimer02

Texas, USA

Spotted on Nov 9, 2010
Submitted on Feb 18, 2013

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