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Ornate Box Turtle

Terrepene ornata ornata


Small turtle with a high domed carapace that is slightly flattened at the top. Edges of the carapace flare outward. Plastron is hinged and folds shut to protect the head and limbs. Front and rear legs are stout with toes webbed at the base. Carapace is generally dark with a pattern of radiating yellow bars or lines. Top of carapace often has a yellow mid-dorsal stripe. Plastron is light with light bars, spots, or mottling.



Carapace 3 - 4 inches


State Endangered

Similar Species

Eastern box turtle


Ornate box turtles are largely carnivorous, eating caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers. It may also consume some fruit such as mulberries, blackberries, and other plants. Carrion is also frequently eaten.


Prefers open, sandy terrain. This species may also frequent sparse oak savannas, prairies, grasslands, and meadows.


A diurnal and terrestrial turtle that is able to withstand more arid conditions then other box turtles. In hot periods, they seek shelter in mammal burrows or excavate their own. This species may live up to 50 years.

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Ornate Box Turtle

Ornate Box Turtle

Ornate Box Turtle

Terrepene ornata ornata

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