Furrowed Wood Turtle

Furrowed Wood Turtle Rhinoclemmys areolata

Type of Animal:

Savanna, thornscrub woodland, broadleaf forest, fallow agricultural land, marshes, lowland pine communities w/ pine forest-savanna mosaic vegetation & nutrient poor acidic soils, mesic riparian areas

S Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, NW Honduras

High domed brown carapace (upper shell) w/ dark sutures & yellow mottling, smoother in older animals, unhinged plastron (lower shell) dark brown in central area bordered by yellow, narrow brown to light green head w/ slightly pointed snout & variable pattern of yellow/red stripes, yellow black-spotted mandible/forelimbs, barely webbed feet, males have longer thicker tails

Leafy greens, herbs, vegetables, fungi, legumes, fruit, berries, melons, leaves, roots, tubers, flowers, grasses, insects, insect larvae, grubs, worms, crayfish, snails, slugs, millipedes, shrimp, eggs, poop, carrion, spiders, small birds, small snakes, mice, algae, mosses, fish, leeches, frogs

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, herpetoculture, & aquariums

Solitary or small groups of 1 male w/ 2-5 females

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Bale
Male: 1.39-2.05 lbs
Female: 2.05-3.41 lbs
Young: 3 oz

3-4 months 

Life Span:
19-25 years

Body Length:
Male: 0.7 ft
Female: 1 ft
Young: 0.3 ft

Tail Length:
Male: Longer/Thicker
Female: Shorter

Main predators of adults are felids, crocodilians, boa constrictors, weasels, pigs, coyotes, & hawks. Many reptiles, birds, & mammals prey on young.
While stable, declining due to habitat loss, pet trade, hunting for meat/medicine, road mortality, agriculture, development, curio trade (sometimes stuffed/mounted as guitars/other instruments), logging, water pollution, & fires.
Females lay small clutches of 1-2 eggs, up to 4 a year.
Courtship & mating typically occur in water.
Play important role as seed dispersers.
Males track/locate females by following scent trails.
Also called Black-Bellied Turtle & Mojena.
Much more active in wet seasons.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re fairly personable turtles but can also be rather shy.
Due to fires, many turtles seen w/ limbs missing.
Defensive posture involves directing carapace towards predator & drawing head/legs beneath shell.
Often ingest small stones to aid in digestion.
Like many turtles, sex often determined by egg/incubation temp, w/ males at lower temps & females at higher temps.
Often utilize armadillo burrows in periods of fire & in dry season.

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