Box Turtle Walking Through Fallen Leaves

By | November 21, 2016

I spotted this Box Turtle in the leaves eating a worm during a warm day last week. It dropped the worm and ducked into its shell before I could get a photo.

Box Turtle In The Leaves

Box Turtle – Canon 7D2 | Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L v2 Lens | @400mm | 1/1000 | f/7.1 | ISO 640

I have photographed a Box Turtle with a worm before. This photo was made back in 2008 when I spotted it in the road picking up a dried out earthworm.

Box Turtle With A Dried Earthworm

Box Turtle With An Earthworm

Note: Fallen leaves create a natural layer that butterflies, moths, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, worms, and other species rely on for food and shelter.

I believe the photos above are of a Three-toed Box Turtle:

This species hibernates throughout the colder months in a shallow burrow, often no deeper than a few inches. A naturally-produced antifreeze provides protection against subfreezing temperatures and winter mortality is surprisingly low. As temperatures warm, this species becomes active and may bask in more open areas. Habitat preference is for grassland in spring and autumn, with forest habitat being utilized during the summer. (Herps of Arkansas)

More Box Turtle Facts

North American box turtles are omnivores with a varied diet, as a box turtle will “basically eat anything it can catch”. Invertebrates (amongst others insects, earth worms, millipedes) form the principal component, but the diet also consists for a large part (reports range from 30-90%) of vegetation. The diet is amended with fruits (amongst others from cacti, apples and several species of berry), gastropods. While reports exist that during their first five to six years, box turtles are primarily carnivorous, while adults are mostly herbivorous, there is no scientific basis for such a difference.

Box turtles are official state reptiles of four U.S. states. North Carolina and Tennessee honor the eastern box turtle. Missouri names the three-toed box turtle. Kansas honors the ornate box turtle. (Wikipedia)

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

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