What do turtles eat in the wild?


In the wild, turtles are omnivores, meaning they will eat anything: meat, vegetables, and fruit. Specifically, the diet of turtles includes:

  • Caterpillars
  • Grasshoppers
  • Snails
  • Spiders
  • Earthworms
  • Carrion, even big carrion from mammals, birds and amphibians
  • Fallen fruit (often over-ripe or rotten)
  • Berries
  • Flowers
  • Grass
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To keep your pet box turtle as healthy as possible, your pet’s diet should include a combination of food items from the above list.

Pay attention to the food items your turtle(s) eat first, eat the most and also avoid or do not eat at all. You can fine-tune your pet’s menu based on observations, but to get started the food you prepare for your box turtle should be a combination of items that is roughly this ratio:

50% protein (worm, slugs, bugs, beetles)

30% vegetables (carrots, corn, sweet potato, squash, okra, green beans)

10% berries (strawberries, blackberries, apples, pears, raspberries, mulberries, peaches, melon, banana, mango, cherries and plums)

10% leafy greens (grass, leaves, dandelion leaves, turnip leaves, romaine lettuce, collard greens and mustard greens)

Mushrooms can be added to your pet’s diet, however, it is important to remember that there are many toxic mushrooms that can hurt or kill your turtle so do not feed your pet any mushrooms unless you’re sure they are safe to consume.

NOTE: many experts suggest feeding your pet turtle professionally-made turtle food to provide your pet with a balanced diet.


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