Post last updated: June 29th, 2017

Florida has four box turtles – the Common, the Eastern, the Gulf Coast and the Three-toed. Along with the gopher tortoise, the box turtles are land turtles who wander through woods, fields, and gardens.

Land turtles can live 150 years to the 70 years of a sea turtle unless, of course, you see one trying to cross the road and you do the turtle a “favor” by dropping them in a nearby body of water. Land turtles do not swim. They need only enough water to submerge themselves for a good soaking of their shell. Also, if you feel the need to move a turtle from the road, move it only out of harm’s way. Do not try to relocate it elsewhere. Turtles are very attached to the place of their birth and relocating them can cause them to wander aimlessly and die while attempting to find home. Remember how badly E.T. wanted to find home?

They forage on fruit, insects, plants, grubs and worms as well as crayfish, earthworms, frogs, lizards (yes!), slugs, snails, snakes and spiders.

At the Southern Rural Route, we were visited by a dinner plate-sized Florida Box Turtle. We identified it by the pattern of yellow stripes on the high-domed upper shell (a carapace). Most likely, it was a female searching for a nesting site.



14 thoughts on “BOX TURTLE”

  1. How delightful! I must send out invites so that I too may have a turtle for dinner! Just kidding, I think turtles are wonderful and I have saved a few from their demise.

    1. Yes, Gypsy, I think you must send out invites to get critters. The Southern Rural Route, however, has a lot of woods surrounding it so the critters just show up. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, either.

  2. Love this post, Linda. I don’t think we have box turtles here, but if I do meet one I’ll know now not to relocate and not to drop it in deep water.

  3. Interesting information! I knew land turtles could live a long time, but I had no idea just how long. There is an old box turtle on our property. I guess he likes our place because of all our little lizards. I did not know turtles ate lizards!

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