NC State Reptile

Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle: photo by James Bert SwainTerrapene carolina
Adopted 1979

This well-known turtle is most common in and near wooded areas. In most cases, a box turtle does not try to bite when picked up. Instead, it draws in its head, feet, and tail, and closes its hinged shell tightly. Box turtles are mature and capable of mating at five years old. Females dig holes in the ground with their hind legs, lay their eggs, and cover them with soft dirt. Hatching turtles dig their way out of the burrow and are able to live on their own. Fully grown at 20 years, box turtles may live for 80 years or longer.