Friday, January 27, 2012

Missouri Box Turtles

      Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by turtles. During May in 2011 I had the opportunity to photograph a few turtles that I found while walking in the woods. In Missouri we have two species of Box Turtles, the Three Toed box turtle and the Ornate box turtle. I was lucky enough to find both species. 

Three-toed box turtles, as their name implies, typically have three hind toes - but some individuals have four. They are a forest species, although they may also be found along forest edges and brushy fields. They consume earthworms and insects, but adult three-toed box turtles tend to be more vegetarian, eating a variety of plants, berries and mushrooms. This is the common box turtle of Ozark woodlands. (

The ornate box turtle prefers more open country: pastures, prairie and open woodland. Although ornate box turtles consume some plant matter (especially berries), 90 percent of their diet is insects - made up mostly of grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars. (

  Ornate box turtles have the coolest designs and colors on their shells.

      If you find a box turtle the best thing you can do for it is to not take it from where you found it. If you ever find a box turtle pick it up and take a close look at it and observe the colors and designs on it, just don't take it from where you found it. Box turtles are truly beautiful animals and are always a surprise to find while walking around the woods.


  1. I love all the nature pictures you take Austin!! It will be great to keep this blog and have a place to start posting them!! Great job!!

  2. Thank you for posting this. It helped me id the one I found today.

  3. Anonymous6/28/2013

    I found one in my yard today in independence. What should we do with it?

  4. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. We have seen more box turtles this year than past years.

    A Few Pictures of Eastern Box Turtles