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Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

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Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

Identification: The high, domed carapace is dark with a radiating pattern of yellow or orange. Plastron with flexible hinge, allowing complete shell closure. Head and legs with yellow markings. Male usually has red eyes and concave plastron.

Adult carapace length: 4.5 to 7.8 inches (11.4 to 19.8 cm).

Habitat: Open woodlands and adjacent meadows, thickets, and gardens, often near shallow ponds, swamps, or streams. Michigan’s only truly terrestrial turtle.

Habits: Many Box turtles stay in a small home range (under five acres) most of their lives; they routinely live for several decades, occasionally a century or more. Food includes plants, berries, fungi, insects, worms, slugs, snails, carrion.

Reproduction: Mating can occur spring through fall; female may remain fertile for four years after mating. Three to 8 oval, soft shelled eggs are laid in the ground in June; they hatch in 75 to 90 days.

SOURCE: Michigan DNR

-TSF-

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