Western Ornate Box Turtle

Photo from Catcher in My Eye

Photo from Catcher in My Eye

Western Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornate) is the Kansas State Reptile.

The following comments are adapted from Catcher In My Eye’s Flicker album.

The Western Ornate Box Turtle is 4-5 inches long with a flattened-dome carapace (top shell) that is dark brown or black with bright yellow lines that radiate to form a starburst pattern. The plastron (under shell) is marked with yellow and brown lines. The head is dark brown with spots of white or yellow. I have found her enjoying Mulberries fallen off the Mulberry tree on my property. A mature female box turtle will lay 3-6 eggs each spring in a shallow nest. The unguarded eggs hatch in late summer or early fall. Box turtles commonly reach 25-30 years of age (some have lived 40-50 years).The habitat of a Western Box Turtle is grasslands and open wooded areas of the Plains states. Generally male box turtles have orange or red eyes and a slightly concave plastron, while females have brown or light orange eyes and a nearly flat plastron.