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My Box Turtles!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Someone asked for photos after reading my hibernation thread, so here are my shelled kids.

This is Lily



This is Pumpkin



This is my Pepper



Here's Reginald



And lastly, my sweet Violet

post #2 of 23
ABSOLUTLEY precious! they are adorable...i have 1 box turtle so now im going to have to take some pics of him and post.

post #3 of 23
Could you get a full picture(s) of your pen tomorrow? I can't recall if you've posted one before, but I'd like to see it and you can use it as an example for others here with boxies.

My turtles are down at my in-laws', so we have less than two months to build a large pen and plant it here at our new house. Considering the size we need, nine juvis and one adult (who gets his own pen/section), I have a lot of work cut out for me! I plan to keep their pen layouts similar so when they come up and are transferred they don't panic.

Here's the babies pen from early last spring, play "spot the turtles".



Some of them being brats


Squash make excellent plants for turtle pens, btw, but green beans don't work so well - the turtles simply won't share any!
post #4 of 23
They are so cute!!! That is very interesting... I know they live very looooooong lives, so, here are a couple of questions:
How/when did you get them?
Do they get attached to people at all?
Do they show to have memory?
Thanks for sharing the pictures - they are beautiful!
post #5 of 23
They're cute! I love the shell colour of Pepper. I have a question though, might seem dumb.. But I was taught that turtles are strictly aquatic and have webbed feet, so wouldn't these be tortoises instead?
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
They're cute! I love the shell colour of Pepper. I have a question though, might seem dumb.. But I was taught that turtles are strictly aquatic and have webbed feet, so wouldn't these be tortoises instead?
"All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises"

Paraphrasing one of the docents from when I worked at the zoo.

I've never heard of box turtles referred to as anything other than a turtle, though I believe they are technically tortoises due to the high domed back and burrowing nature.
post #7 of 23
I once had 7 box turtles (6 males, 1 female). But I had one the color of Pepper. That was my female (gotten from a friend from Florida). We had one that was really orange in color and had a little different shape to the shell. The rest were more brown/yellow local Maryland turtles.

The orange boy was from the mountains in southern Virginia. I'm wondering if the region where they are taken from changes the colors or shell shapes?
post #8 of 23
I love turtles! You've got some cuties there!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
"All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises"

Paraphrasing one of the docents from when I worked at the zoo.

I've never heard of box turtles referred to as anything other than a turtle, though I believe they are technically tortoises due to the high domed back and burrowing nature.
Both right and wrong. All tortoises and turtles are chelonians - which simplifies it a bit.

Shell type and burrowing nature have nothing to do what they are - though the predominance of high domed shells is because they're easier to right. There are aquatic turtles with rather domed shells (especially seen in some Asian turtles), and every single turtle digs. North and Central American box turtles do belong to the genus terrapene, but this isn't to be confused with tortoises which most belong to the genuses geochelone and testudo.

More simply put, a box turtle is a turtle. Try to care for one like you would a tortoise and you very likely will make it ill if not kill it. Some require varying degrees of humidity, Easterns like in the OP's pictures require more than some of the subspecies.

Goldenkitty - It's no different than any other animal. If there's a lot of individuals in that area with high color over time a lot of the turtles will show that. But yes, certain groups are somewhat broken off from the main subspecies making their color or even pattern a little different. And though rarer in the wild, cross breeding with other subspecies does happen. Male ornates are known to happily breed with just about any other box turtle they happen across.

carolinalima - It depends a little on subspecies and whether they're wild caught or captive bred. They do get used to their people and people in general. I have a more shy subspecies, thus my wild caught male isn't as social. The babies know me and will follow me around without attempting to hide (which is not natural for young turtles). They know DH to a lesser degree and have to study him a bit and discern whether he has food - without food half of them lose interest in him and will wander off. I haven't seen them approach anyone else, though they watch. Someone they don't know would probably have to tap a food dish several times and wait a while to get one of the babies to openly come to them - and then they better have insects or fruit to bribe them with (with the exception of little miss piggy, she loves all food).

I'm interested in hearing how the OP's easterns behave to strangers.
post #10 of 23
Wow, that is so awesome! I had no idea they made good pets!
I have seen many in Brasil, but they are "just there", not necessarily anybody's pet... Except for the little aquatic ones. I want to hear more!!
post #11 of 23
^ The "fun" part. They require a lot of room, preferably outside, diet must have a lot of variety - but you must be very careful what you feed, too. Pre-made commercial foods are useless for more than a once a week snack.Fresh veggies and fruit is a must. And they'll very likely cost you quite a bit of money.

Keeping them inside is similar to keeping any other diurnal reptile, aside from the space issue (you only really encounter this with turtles, tortoises, and large lizards). You need to make sure they have proper UVB lighting, a safe substrate that can hold some humidity, and plenty of hides.

This has a lot of info on care http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=123213

If you're just starting out, never owned a reptile before, it might be easier to start with one of the easy to care for species of geckos instead. Leopard geckos are easy to tame, as are crested geckos.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great compliments and such!

I've had the longest relationship with Pepper, although not even a year, with Lily and Violet next--(they lived together for 10 years, prior to my rescuing), and then Reginald and Pumpkin (who have also lived together for about 8 years prior to my rescuing). Pepper has been in captivity for about 6 years now--she was captured in New Jersey. The others are from the Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky area.

Pepper Lily and Violet all respond very much to me, not to anyone else--maybe slightly to Hubby, with the exception of Pepper who runs from him!

I feed them on the same rock the same schedule each week (when they are outside) and Pepper will sit and wait for me each day, if I come early she'll come to me when she hears me, Violet and Lily don't wait at the rock but them come when they hear me. Pumpkin and Reginald havent been here long enough to do these things. So we'll see when they emerge how things go.

Leslie
post #13 of 23
Are your's more skittish right after coming out of hibernation? I find that my wild caught male (acquired him and a female years ago much the same way you did) acts like he doesn't know me The babies don't care.
post #14 of 23
Another question (or two). All mine were wild and yet I had a few that were really "outgoing" and not scared of anyone and very friendy. My fav boy was Speedy - he would have easily won a turtle race.

My female was very shy and if you scared her, she'd hide in the shell for over 15/20 mins before sticking her head out again. Speedy would duck in and then right back out

Do you find the males are a little more friendly then the females?
post #15 of 23
They are cute . What interesting little creatures
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Do you find the males are a little more friendly then the females?
I don't know about Easterns, but with Ornates it tends to be females that are more outgoing than males. I have picked up wild females that could easily be mistaken for someone's lost pet - they don't hiss, go in their shells,or pee, and will happily accept a worm or grasshopper (I treat them for putting up with me). The same holds for my babies, the ones that are the most bold appear to be females.
post #17 of 23
Can you post a picture of the two kinds - I didn't know there was more then the Eastern Box turtles.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Can you post a picture of the two kinds - I didn't know there was more then the Eastern Box turtles.
Go to the first page. The OP's are easterns, obvious by their higher color, especially on their bodies. My pictures, a couple posts down, are ornates - golden yellow stripes but duller yellowish olive bodies. Mature males can display orange on their front legs and some orange tinting in their shell pattern, but nothing like some of the orange eastern males do. With reptiles the terms " high yellow" and "high orange" tend to pop up to describe individuals with a lot of color. If you want a true example of a high orange male Eastern look up in google images "eastern box high orange".

There's Gulf coast (T.carolina major ), Florida (T.carolina bauri ), Easterns (T. carolina carolina), Three toed (T. carolina triunguis ), Ornate (T. ornata ornata )and Desert box (T. ornata luteola).
In Central America there's Spotted(T. nelsoni ), Coahuilan(T. coahuila), Yucatan (T. carolina yucatana ), and Mexican (T. carolina mexicana ). Making a total of ten different subspecies of terranpene.

..Sadly the above info, including scientific names, are example of things quite firmly stuck in my memory. Now if I can only remember what I was supposed to be doing...
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
My males and females are all equally social. Umm...Violet is the shyest of all. She and Lily got their names from the flowers in Alice in Wonderland, Violet is shy, like the shy little violets and Lily is very outgoing and kind of bubbly like the Lily in the movie. She will close in her shell the minute she hears the back door open or in the current case the bathroom door open (her and Lily's indoor enclosure happens to be in the bathroom)

Pepper has never closed in her shell in fear or anxiety to humans. She was DHL'd here and Hubby received her since I was working. He pulled her right out of the pillow slip and she stretched her head out as far as she could and let him rub her head and neck. Very outgoing.

Lily will let you rub her head and neck as well.

Reginald is a brute, sort of a snotty macho male. He won't close into his shell but he'll avoid me at every cost--haul shell.

Pumpkin is pretty calm, hasn't shelled up on me, is alittle unsure of people, sadly I think she is terribly used to Reginald constantly chasing her to mate and is paranoid. Now that she lives with Pepper she is more mellow and very different personality wise. Starting this Spring all four females will live together, as long as Pepper and Pumpkin are able to behave with Lily and Violet due to size--I have to make sure they won't bully. As I mentioned Lily and Violet are stunted in growth and are about the size and weight of a 3-4 year old turtle.

Pepper weighs easily 463 grams where as the smaller girls are about half that.
post #20 of 23
^Are you lucky enough to live in an area where there are wild boxies (ie, outside of the city suburbs or at least). If so, have in the past, or go herping often you should be able to pick up a pattern between male and females behavior wise.
post #21 of 23
Wow they are so gorgeous. I thought turtles had to live in tanks of water!
post #22 of 23
Nope. I love the box turtles ove the the aquatic turtles. They are not as messy
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've had 6 aquatics and loved them just as much but in very different ways.

The upkeep of an aquatic is very different than a box turtle and for me much more labor intensive.

I'm currently trying to decide whether or not to call it quits on aquatics and sell off my equipment or hold on to it. I lost my last aquatic in September of last year and still have my aquarium running--as it had 5 or 6 fish in it. I took the passings of my last two aquatics very hard and I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to deal with it again.

It is pretty convienient (sp) that boxies hibernate 5 months out of the year. So I only have to care for them 7 months of the year. Not that I don't worry about them 12 months of the year.

Leslie
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