Ornate box turtles Color: Carapace, head, limbs and the tail are dark brown to black in color. Thick yellow lines surround the scutes, while the shells have concentric rings that are used to ascertain their age. Adults have yellow spots on the heads.
Male or female ornate box turtle? Females are larger than males, while the males are sometimes slightly more colorful. The eye color also differs, being bright red for males and brown or black for females. Males also have large-sized, curved inner claws on the back feet, thick tail, and deep reddish legs. Keep in mind there are also females with red eyes, though rare.
Ornate box turtle Distribution & Subspecies
- The ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata), the nominate subspecies, inhabits the area from Louisiana to Colorado and Gulf of Mexico up to Wisconsin.
Ornate box turtle habitat
Ornate box turtles prefer grasslands at average heights of 4,920 ft, meaning they like elevation. Ornates may also be found in more arid environments, specifically deserts with low humidity and soil temp. Also, unlike most eastern box turtle species, the air temperature should be high.
Ornate box turtle Behavior
- In the wild, ornate box turtles hibernate during the winter, returning to the same location for hibernation every year or at least a meter away from its dwelling place of the previous year.
- Ornates prefer to stay within a particular radius for most of their lives and are solitary other than the mating seasons.
- While most other turtle species are aquatic, the ornate box turtle is one of the few turtles to be terrestrial.
- When they are ready to warm up, ornates emerge from the burrows to raise their body temperature by basking.
Mating & Reproduction
Mating season for the ornate box turtle occurs between the months of April and July. Both sexes engage in polygynandry, with the females storing the sperm of males for long periods. A clutch or two are laid in a year. Several males often pursue one female, which leaves them to fight amongst each other until there is a winner, who gets to copulate with her. The gestation period is about 50 days, after which the female lays a clutch of up to eight eggs, once a day, either two hours after sunrise or before sunset.
At turtle store, all of our baby eastern turtles for sale come with our full live arrival and 7-day health guarantee. Our baby eastern turtles for sale are all cared for by our in house biologist, allowing you to shop with confidence. When purchasing any turtle from our turtle store, we promise to give you the best customer service possible, and a healthy, safely shipped turtle or tortoise for sale. Like all of our other turtles for sale, our box turtles for sale ship via UPS or FedEx overnight in heated, or cooled insulated shipping containers. Turtle store ships year-round, anywhere in the United States!