Florida box turtle

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Florida box turtle
Florida Box Turtle Digon3.jpg
Terrapene carolina bauri
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Anapsida
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Terrapene
Species: T. carolina
Subspecies: T. c. bauri
Trinomial name
Terrapene carolina bauri
Taylor, 1895
Synonyms[1]
  • Terrapene bauri Taylor, 1895
  • Pariemys bauri Cope, 1895
  • Cistudo bauri Ditmars, 1907
  • Terrapene innoxia Hay, 1916
  • Terrapene carolina bauri Carr, 1940
  • Terrapene carolina baurii
    Stubbs, 1989 (ex errore)

The Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) is a subspecies of turtle belonging to the family Emydidae.

Etymology[edit]

The subspecific name, bauri, is in honor of herpetologist Georg Baur.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

It is endemic to the U.S. state of Florida and the extreme southeastern portion of Georgia.

Habitat[edit]

It can be found in damp environments, such as wetlands, marshlands, and near swamps, but usually does not enter water deep enough to swim.[3]

Temperature[edit]

  • Daytime Air Temperature: 70 - 90°
  • Basking Temperature: 85 - 95°
  • Humidity: 70 - 90%

Description[edit]

Like other box turtles, the Florida box turtle has a narrow and highly-domed shell with a hinged plastron that allows it to close its shell tightly. However, the Florida box turtle is quite different in appearance from the other subspecies of Terrapene carolina. Its carapace has a distinct pattern of bright radiating yellow stripes that make it easily identifiable. The coloring of the plastron can vary anywhere from solid yellow to solid black, with any number of variations in between. This turtle has very sharp claws as well as a sharp beak used for catching small insects and eating fruits, vegetables, and fungi.[4] Males have red eyes, females have yellow eyes.[citation needed]

As pets[edit]

Florida box turtles can be kept as pets. They are omnivores and feed on a huge variety of food in the wild. In captivity, they are especially fond of live food such as earthworms, crickets, locusts, snails, wax worms (as a treat because of their high fat content), crickets, baby mice. In addition to this large variety of live foods, you can offer chopped fruits and vegetables. Finely grated dark green veggies such as lettuces and kale, and fruits such as melons, berries, cantaloupe, are also accepted (though not eagerly) once or twice a week.

By law, in their home State, no person may possess more than two of these turtles. People may be prosecuted by fine and removal of the animals if they own three or more without a reptile permit.[5] This subspecies can only be found in Florida, and is also protected in many other areas. Many pet stores offer hatchlings as pets, which are usually healthier than the box turtles from the wild.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology 57 (2): 198. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Taylor, W.E. 1895. The box tortoises of North America. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 17 (1019): 573-588.
  3. ^ "Florida box turtle". Animal-World. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  4. ^ Dodd, Kenneth C. (2002). "Identification Key to Terrapene Species and Subspecies". North American Box Turtles. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-8061-3501-4. 
  5. ^ http://www.calusaherp.org/business/laws.htm Legality of Box Turtles in Florida

Further reading[edit]

  • Taylor, W.E. 1895. Tortoises of North America. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 17(1019): 573-588. ("Terrapene bauri, new species", pp. 576–577.)