Terrapene ornata Ornate Box Turtle
Also known as:
Western Box Turtle
Subspecies I've seen:
T. o. luteola
Desert Box Turtle
T. o. ornata
Plains Box Turtle
Terrapene ornata luteola Desert Box Turtle
San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area, Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 7, 2004
Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola) Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola)
This pretty little turtle was plodding across dried mud near the San Pedro river, surprisingly quickly for a turtle. It stopped still for awhile when it saw me approach, so I got a few photos in. Then it was off to the turtle races once more.
Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 16, 2013
Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola)
This old and weatherbeaten turtle has some sort of appendage on its snout. I'm not sure if it's a kind of tumor, or a piece of vegetation that got stuck somehow, or what.
near Animas, Hidalgo County, New MexicoAugust 4, 2014
Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola) Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola)
I saw these two turtles while biding my time in the late afternoon, more or less waiting for the sun to go down so the herp night shift would start. They were both moving across the road when I saw them, and then froze in place when they saw me. I gently moved each of them off the road so they wouldn't get squashed, and each one retreated into its shell. Since I was in no particular hurry, I decided to wait for the first one to come out of its shell to get better photos. It turns out, this is something for which I do not have enough patience. I waited for half an hour, which was enough time that I could once again see the front half of the turtle's head, but at that point I felt the need to move on.
Terrapene ornata ornata Plains Box Turtle
Vogel Canyon, Comanche National Grassland, Otero County, ColoradoMay 7, 2006
Plains Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata) Plains Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata)
I was hoping to see lizards and snakes on a morning hike at Vogel Canyon, but I wasn't thinking about turtles until we saw this one minding its own turtle business alongside the trail. You gotta love the glowing red eyes.
Jackson County, MissouriMay 5, 2017
Plains Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata)
This little fella was speedily shuffling across a paved road. By turtle standards, anyway.
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