Eastern Box Turtle ranges in size from 4.5-6 inches. Coloration
of the carapace (upper shell) is usually dark brown with a yellow, orange
or red pattern. The carapace is normally keeled. The plastron
(lower shell) has a single hinge. Males have a concave area towards
the rear of the plastron and usually have a red iris. The female's
plastron is slightly convex or flat and they usually have a brown iris.
Habitat: Found in a variety
of habitats from old fields to woodlands.
Behavior: The Eastern Box
Turtle is the only terrestrial turtle in Kentucky. They primarily
stay on dry land, but are known to occasionally soak in water.
During periods of dry, hot weather, box turtles may bury themselves
underground or in rotting wood. They use these same places to spend
the winter. Box turtles feed on a variety of plant and animal matter
including fruit, leaves, roots, insects and carrion.