Terepene carolina carolina
Appearance: They are tan to dark brown and have oblong patterns on their shell that can be yellow, orange, or olive. An interesting trait specific to box turtles is that you can guess whether they are male or female by their eye color — males have red or orange irises and females have yellow or brown irises. They have high-domed carapaces (top shell), and hinged plastrons (bottom shell) which allows them to pull their legs and head into their shell, like closing a box. While it is possible for Eastern box turtles to live for over 100 years, the average lifespan is around 50 years.
Range: The Eastern box turtle is the designated state reptile of North Carolina and is found throughout the state. Eastern box turtles can be found in moist forested areas, meadows, pastures and floodplains. If a box turtle’s habitat remains constant, they could spend their entire life in an area barely larger than a football field.
Diet: Their diet consists of earthworms, slugs, mushrooms, and they are particularly fond of strawberries.
Date of Birth: Unknown
Mayberry was born in the wild and also came to the Nature Center in 2012. Mayberry was run over by a lawnmower and because of that she has a permanent scar on the top of her shell.
What Makes Mayberry Unique? Mayberry is the shiest. While we do not know her exact age, we can estimate her age to be in her 20’s.
Date of Birth: 2005-2007
Rosa came to the Nature Center in 2009 from a local turtle rehabilitator. She sustained an injury in the wild and needed ongoing veterinary care so was considered unreleasable.
What Makes Mayberry Unique? Rosa has reddish eyes even though she is a female, which is how she got her name. Females typically have brown eyes while males have red.
Green Dot & Yellow Dot
Date of Birth: Yellow Dot hatched September 11th, 2022 and Green Dot hatched September 19th, 2022.
They are named Green Dot and Yellow Dot due to their identifiers (green and yellow nail polish dots on their shells), and they are intended for release when they are two years old. They were in a nest that was disturbed on a construction site and brought to us by a member of the public. One of the eggs was damaged and hatched early (Yellow Dot).
What Makes Green Dot and Yellow Dot Unique? Both were deemed good candidates for a head start program to give them a better chance at succeeding when released. Their release will be carefully managed to ensure the best result for both the turtles and the environment they will be returned to. We intend to release them when they are two years old.
Date of Birth: Unknown
Red was born in the wild, and came to the WNC Nature Center in October of 2009. Red was run over by a car and brought to the Nature Center to be rehabilitated.
What Makes Red Unique? Red is the boldest of our box turtles, and he also has metal sutures in the bottom of his shell as a permanent reminder of how he came to us. Red also has bold red eyes, the stereotypical male box turtle characteristic for which he was named.