Gulf Coast box turtle

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Terrapene carolina major
Terrapene carolina major 2.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Emydidae
Genus: Terrapene
T. c. major
Trinomial name
Terrapene carolina major
(Agassiz, 1857)
  • Cistudo major Agassiz, 1857
  • Cistudo carolina var. major
    Boulenger, 1889
  • Terrapene major Baur, 1891
  • Toxaspis major Cope, 1895
  • Terrapene major M.J. Allen, 1932
  • Terrapene carolina major
    Carr, 1940
  • Terrapene major major
    – Wilms, 1999

The Gulf Coast box turtle (Terrapene carolina major) is the largest subspecies of the North American box turtle (Terrapene carolina).


Gulf Coast box turtles have a domed shell which can grow to 8 inches in shell length. It is generally dark brown or black in color, with yellow striping or blotching, the amount of blotching or striping can vary greatly.

Geographic range[edit]

The Gulf Coast box turtle can be found along the Gulf of Mexico from the state of Louisiana to the state of Florida.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Intergrading with other subspecies of box turtle that it shares range with is not uncommon.


They are often found around estuaries and swampy regions, near shallow, permanent bodies of water.


  1. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 198–199. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.