Three-Toed Box Turtle

Three-Toed Box Turtle Terrapene triunguis

Type of Animal:

Woodlands, meadows, marshes, humid grasslands, stream/pond sides

C & E US

Brown or olive carapace (upper shell)-sometimes patterned w/ yellow marks/lines, lower shell (plastron) similar but somewhat drabber than carapace, 3 toes on hind feet, variable amounts of red, orange, & yellow on head/front legs, males often have more color than females, males have crimson eyes, females have brownish-yellow eyes

Insects, insect larvae, grubs, vegetation, flowers, leaves, grasses, berries, legumes, vegetables, melons, greens, fruit, carrion, worms, snails, spiders, frogs, snakes, lizards, small mammals, eggs, fungi, slugs, small fish, crustaceans

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & breeders

Solitary or small groups of a male w/ 2-4 females

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Bale

Male: 11.7 oz
Female: 15.34 oz

3 months 

Life Span:
50-100 years

Body Length:
Male: 4.5 in
Female: 5 in

Tail Length:
Male: 2 in
Female: 1 in

Main predators of adults are raccoons, coyotes, skunks, bobcats, bears, alligators, snapping turtles, skunks, dogs, raptors, foxes, cats, otters, snakes, pigs, corvids, rats, badgers, opossums, weasels, mink, fire ants, & bullfrogs. Young preyed on by many birds, rodents, armadillos, & shrews.
State reptile of Missouri.
Sometimes hybridize w/ closely related Eastern Box Turtles.
Breed from end of April until July.
Males attract females by expanding throats.
Females usually lay 3-8 eggs at end of breeding season.
Claws on feet assist w/ digging.
Like all turtles, they lack teeth.
Play important role in seed dispersal.
Like all turtles in its range, it survives winter months by hibernating.
While they make decent pets, they live long time & care should be taken to be make sure they’re captive bred.

Fun Fact(s):
Can retract almost completely inside shell.
Many American Indian cultures ate meat, used shells for ceremonial rattles, & buried them w/ dead.
Like many reptiles, incubation temp determines sex of hatchlings-more females produced at higher temps & more males at lower temps.
Dangerous for humans & perhaps other animals to eat due to possibility of poisonous mushrooms & toxins lingering in flesh.
Shells can completely regenerate.

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