Eastern Box Turtle
Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina
Size: 5-8 inches (12.7-20 cm) in length
Status: Species of special concern
Deciduous woodlands, old fields, pastures, and marshy areas.
The carapace background color is brown to brownish black with a strong pattern of numerous lines, irregular blotches and bars that vary from yellow to bright orange. The plastron has a wide range of colors from immaculate yellow-brown, dark brown, brownish black to black. The pattern of the plastron also varies from: patternless; dark blotches; a dark central blotch that becomes lighter along the margins; a dark central blotch that branches along the seams; or radiating light lines. The head, neck, legs, and tail are dark brown and are usually heavily patterned with yellow to orange streaks, blotches, and bars.
- Small terrestrial species.
- Side View – The carapace is high-domed and slightly keeled.
- Above View – The carapace is oblong with slight flaring on the posterior margins.
- The plastron is extremely broad and as long or longer than the carapace.
- The legs are well-developed and strong.
- The upper jaw is hooked terminally and has no notch.
- The carapace is light brown and each carpacial scute has a single yellow spot.
- The plastron had a large dark central blotch bordered by a yellow margin.
May be Confused With:
- Hulse, C. and McCoy C. J. and Ellen Censky ,1998. Amphibians and Reptiles of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. 233-237pp.
- Ernst, Carl H. and Lovich, Jeffrey E., and Barbour, Roger W. ,1994. Turtles of the United States and Canada. 250-265pp. Photo Credits:
- Bob Hamilton
- Wayne Fidler
- Billy Brown
- Tom Diez
- Sebastian Harris
- Don Becker (psychoticnature.com)
- M. Anne Esbenshade
- Stephen Staedtler
Please contribute your observation of this and other herps to the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey. Your help is needed.