10 Different Types Of Box Turtles You Can Keep As Pets

Buying a turtle for the first time? You are probably overwhelmed with too many options. If you want a small turtle, box turtles can be an ideal choice for you. They are adorable reptiles available at affordable prices. But there are different types of box turtles. So, you need to choose a species or subspecies wisely. 

In this article, I will talk about 10 different box turtles you can keep as pets. I will talk about their appearances, lifestyle, food habit, and other important factors so that you can choose the right box turtle as a pet.  

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10 Different Types of Box Turtles as Pets

Box turtles are wildly available in North America and Asia. There are over seven species and many subspecies of box turtles. But not all of them are suitable or available as pets. Also, it’s difficult to get some box turtles as pets depending on where you live. 

All box turtles have some common characteristics and habits. They require more or less the same care. However, they also have some significant differences that turtle owners should know. Although the size differences among these turtles are not so much, you will see obvious differences in their colours. 

We will learn details of different species of box turtles popular as pets. Before that, here is a brief overview of these turtles:

Name of Box TurtleAverage SizeAverage LifespanAverage PriceCare Level
Eastern Box Turtle4 to 6 inches40 to 100 years$140 to $300Easy
Three-Toed Box Turtle4 to 6.5 inches30 to 50 years$150 to $430Intermediate
Florida Box Turtle4 to 6 inches25 to 50 years$300 to $600Easy
Gulf Coast Box Turtle 5 to 7 inches50 to 100 years$300 to $600Hard
Ornate Box Turtle5 to 7 inches30 to 40 years$200 to $350Intermediate
Desert Box Turtle4.5 to 6 inches30 to 40 years$300 to $400hard
Spotted Box Turtle5 to 6 inches30 to 100 years$300 to $600Hard
Chinese Box Turtle5 to 12 inches25 to 40 years$300 to $400Intermediate
Malaysian Box Turtle8 inches25 to 35 yearsN/AHard
McCord Box Turtle5.5 to 7 inches30 to 40 years$7,500 to $8,000Hard

Common Box Turtles

When people hear the name box turtles, they think about the common box turtles. Most of the common turtle species are available in pet stores. They are easy to take care of and can get friendly with their owners after some time. 

The species under the common box turtle species are: 

  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Three-Toed Box Turtle 
  • Florida Box Turtle
  • Gulf Coast Box Turtle

Let us now learn more about these turtles:

1. Eastern Box Turtle

Quick Overview: 

  • Other Names: Land turtles 
  • Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Average Size: 4 to 6.5 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Basking Temperature: 84 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 60 to 80 % 
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 50 to 100 years 
  • Average Price: $140 to $300
  • Care Level: Easy

Size and Appearance: 

Eastern box turtles are the most popular pet turtles. The average size of an eastern turtle is only 4 to 6 inches. Their small size and colourful shells make them attractive pets for turtle lovers. The colour of their round, high-domed shells can be dark brown or olive with yellow, orange or red markings. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

As this species of common box turtle lives in the eastern and central parts of the United States, they are called eastern turtles. They are semi-aquatic turtles that prefer to live near ponds and streams in woodlands and marshy lands. 

Eastern box turtles are also known as land turtles since they spend most of their time on the land. So, when you build an enclosure for the turtles, add plants and hiding spots. The water area can be shallow, but arrange a large land area with soft subtracts to burrow in. 

Food Habit: 

Eastern box turtles are omnivores. Their diet should include worms, cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, snails, millipedes, moths, fly larvae, beetles, mice, quail chicks, kale, collard, turnip leaves, dandelion flowers and leaves, broccoli, watercress, chard, parsley, spinach, lettuce, berries, cherries, apples, plums, grapes, and tomatoes.

Lifespan: 

These turtles can live about 40 years on average. But with proper care, an eastern turtle can live up to 100 years! 

Keeping Eastern Box Turtles as Pets 

Eastern Box Turtles make a perfect pet for beginners as they are comparatively easier to look after. Unfortunately, this is the reason these box turtles are getting less in number every year. So, buy them from a legal breeder instead of taking them from their natural habitat. 

2. Three-toed Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Other Names: Box turtle 
  • Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina triunguis
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Average Size: 4 to 6 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Basking Temperature: 85 to 88 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 60 % 
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 50 years 
  • Average Price: $150 to $430
  • Care Level: Intermediate  

Size and Appearance: 

Another popular species of the common box turtle is the three-toed box turtle. As adults, they can be only 4 to 6.5 inches. The carapace is olive green or brown with yellow markings. While the eastern box turtles have dark colour plastron, the three-toed box turtles have yellow plastron with dark marks. Also, the male turtles can have red markings on its face. 

So, they can be a good choice for people shopping for small turtles. Now, why are they called three-toed turtles? Instead of having four toes like other turtles, the three-toed box turtles have only three toes on their hind legs. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Three-toed turtles are native to the central and southern areas of the United States. Their habitat spread from Arkansas to Kansas and western Georgia to northwest Texas. 

Similar to the eastern box turtle, three-toed turtles hide in woodlands and grasslands where humidity is high. So, keep the enclosure similar to their natural environment. 

Food Habit: 

Young three-toed turtles are carnivores. They rely on insects, eggs, and amphibians for protein. Once they grow up, they become omnivores and start eating various fruits and vegetables. 

Lifespan:

Three-toed box turtles do not live as long as eastern box turtles. They can live 25 to 30 years. If the environment is favourable, these turtles can live up to 50 years.

Keeping Three-tied Box Turtles as Pets 

Three-toed turtles are attractive little pets to keep. But they are not comfortable with too much human touch. They can get stressed when things slightly change. So, these turtles are not suitable for children or beginners. However, experienced turtle owners may get a three-toed box turtle as they know how to keep the turtle enclosure safe.  

3. Florida Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina baur
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Average Size: 4 to 6 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Temperature: 85 to 90 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 70 to 90 %
  • Eating Habit: Initially carnivores, but turns into omnivores. 
  • Average Lifespan: 25 to 50 years 
  • Average Price: $300 to $600
  • Care Level: Easy

Size and Appearance: 

The Florida box turtles get 4 to 6 inches long. It also has a high-domed shell with a hinge that allows it to get completely inside the shell. The shell colour is dark brown and adorned with yellow markings all over. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

As the name suggests, Florida box turtles are native to Florida and the area around the state. They are also seen in South Georgia. They prefer high humidity. So, they live in swamps, marshes, and forests. They may soak in water but rarely swim in deep water. 

Thus, if you want to keep a Florida box turtle, create a similar environment matching Florida for them. The humidity level should be between 70 to 90% inside the turtle enclosure. 

Food Habit: 

All box turtles are omnivores. A Florida box turtle will enjoy eating flies, crickets, earthworms, crawlies, berries, mushrooms, moss, and chopped vegetables. 

Lifespan: 

On average, Florida box turtles can live 25 to 35 years. But they can live 50 or more years with proper food and care. 

Keeping Florida Box Turtles as Pets 

Florida box turtles can make an excellent pet for a lifetime. They are easy to care for, but you have to control the humidity level. Moreover, with time, they will not mind their owner’s touch. 

Unfortunately, these turtles are not easy to obtain because they are not allowed in many states to keep as pets. You can get them from breeders in Florida. Also, they are expensive compared to Eastern and three-toed turtles. 

gulf coast box turtle

4. Gulf Coast Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina major
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Size: 5 to 7 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Temperature: 90 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Humidity level: 60 to 90 %
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 50 years 
  • Average Price: $300 to $600
  • Care Level: Hard

Size and Appearance: 

Gulf Coast box turtles are the largest subspecies of Common Box turtle. The average size of adults can be 5 to 7 inches. But the largest Gulf Coast box turtle was 8.5 inches long! 

They have high-domed shells of dark brown or black colour. There are yellow dots or stripes on the carapace. The pleated edges of the carapace make the Gulf Coast turtles unique from others. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

The native habitat of Gulf Coast box turtles is along the Gulf of Mexico. They are not interested in swimming too often, but they stay close to a water source. Gulf Coast box turtles live in brackish water, swamps, and creeks. 

Food Habit: 

Gulf Coast box turtles are omnivores.It is better to add lots of worms, snails, larvae, grasshoppers, fruit, and green veggies to their diet plan. 

Lifespan: 

The average life span of a Gulf Coast box turtle is 30 to 50 years. But these turtles can live for more than 75 years in the right conditions.  

Keeping Gulf Coast Box Turtle as Pets

Gulf Coast box turtles are sensitive. They get stressed when handled too much. They are not for children or beginners as the enclosure needs close monitoring. But if you have experience and do not mind having a medium size turtle, a Gulf Coast box turtle can be an ideal choice. 

Western Box Turtles

Like common box turtles, western box turtles are also quite popular among turtle lovers. The Western box turtles look slightly different from the Common box turtles. The carapace of a western box turtle is not too high. Moreover, these turtles are comfortable in dry lands or deserts. There are two subspecies of the Western box turtles are:

  • Ornate Box turtles
  • Desert Box turtle

Here is what you should know about them. 

1. Ornate Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Terrapene ornata ornate
  • Other Names: Western Box Turtle
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Size: 4 to 7 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Basking Temperature: 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Humidity level: 40% to 50 %
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 40 years 
  • Average Price: $200 to $350
  • Care Level: Intermediate 

Size and Appearance: 

An adult ornate box turtle is about 5 to 7 inches long. These turtles have round, domed shells similar to a helmet. People love these turtles, especially for the unique design of their shells. The colour of the carapace is dark brown or black, which makes a nice background for the yellow starburst patterns all over it. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Ornate box turtles are native to central and western parts of the United States. In fact, it is the state turtle of Kansas. Like the common turtles, they prefer grasslands and marshes. They are also found in desert areas. Ornate box turtles prefer medium humidity. 

They like to burrow in moist soil to maintain their humidity. So, the substrate in the enclosure should be soft and 4 to 6 inches deep. To keep the substrate moist, you need to sprinkle some water every day. 

Food Habit:  

Ornate turtles are omnivores. They spend a lot of their time in the land searching for food. Their diet should include worms, crickets, fruits, and vegetables. 

Lifespan: 

The average lifespan of an ornate box turtle is 30 to 40 years. But they may live longer if they live under good care.

Keeping Ornate Box Turtles as Pets 

You can buy an ornate box turtle from a pet shop or an adaptation centre. Acquiring ornate turtles from the wild is strictly prohibited. These turtles are not easy to handle. So, children should not own this species. Turtle lovers with experience can easily take care of ornate turtles. 

2. Desert Box Turtles

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Terrapene ornata luteola
  • Other Names: Sonoran Box turtle
  • Type: Semi-aquatic
  • Average Size: 4.5 to 6 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Area Temperature:  80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 60 to 80 %
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 40 years 
  • Average Price: $300 to $400 
  • Care Level: Intermediate

Size and Appearance: 

If you want to keep a unique species of box turtle as a pet, consider buying a desert turtle. Since an adult desert turtle can grow only 4.5 to 6 inches long, you do not have to worry about space too much. The colour of the carapace can be dark brown or reddish-brown. The shells have thin yet prominent yellow markings. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Desert box turtlesare native to the south-western parts of the United States, such as Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas. They also live in northern Mexico. 

These turtles are called desert box turtles since they prefer to stay in dry lands and grasslands. Desert box turtles are semi-aquatic turtles. They spend most of their time on the land. However, they dip their toes in the water when they want to.  

Food Habits: 

Omnivore turtles of the dry lands. They prefer worms, grasshoppers, insects, larvae, slugs, etc. They also eat fruits and veggies available in dry lands. Hence, you can feed them cactus pads. 

Lifespan: 

Desert box turtles live between 30 to 40 years.

Keeping Desert Box Turtles as Pets: 

Desert box turtles are not for a child or an inexperienced person. These turtles require attention and patience. Recreating an environment similar to the natural habitat is not simple. Desert box turtles are rare to find these days. Hence, you have to pay quite a good amount for them. 

Mexican Box Turtles 

Next, we have the Mexican box turtles. The species Mexican box turtle requires a specific environment to survive. They can hardly survive outside Mexico. These turtles are also on the verge of extinction. So, selling these turtles is illegal. 

There are also spotted box turtles, a species of a Mexican box turtle that is legal in many places as pets. Here is what you need to know about them: 

spotted box turtle

Spotted Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Terrapene nelson
  • Subspecies: Northern spotted box turtle (T. n. klauberi) & Southern spotted box turtle (T. n. nelsoni)
  • Type: Semi-aquatic
  • Average Size: 5 to 6 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Area Temperature:  85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 40 to 60 %
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 100 years 
  • Average Price: $300 to $600
  • Care Level: Hard 

Size and Appearance: 

As the name suggests, a spotted box turtle has bright colour spots all-over its dark brown colour carapace. The shell is flatter than other species of box turtles on this list. The carapace is slightly oval. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Spotted box turtles have two subspecies: the northern spotted box turtles and the southern spotted box turtle. 

The northern spotted box turtles are in the northern parts of Mexico, which include northern Sinaloa, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The southern spotted box turtles live in southern Mexico. They are available in south Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Nayarit. 

As the spotted box turtles live in a warm climate in their natural location, the enclosure should be at the same temperature consistently. Therefore, it is better to keep spotted box turtles indoors instead of in an outdoor enclosure. 

Lifespan: 

In captivity, spotted turtles may live 30 to 35 years. But these turtles can live over 100 years in favourable situations. 

Food Habit: 

These omnivore terrapins eat various kinds of food. But earthworms, mealworms, crickets, chicken, crab, lettuce and other vegetables are their favourite. 

Keeping Spotted Box Turtles as Pets 

Spotted box turtles are unique. They grow small. Thus, require less space. But setting up the temperature and humidity of the enclosure is difficult for beginner turtle enthusiasts. These rare turtles are also quite expensive. 

Asian Box Turtles 

Asian box turtles are another species of box turtles that are good as pets. There are many subspecies of Asian turtles all over Asia. These turtles are available in India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, and many other countries. These turtles thrive in tropical or subtropical environments. 

Among these turtles, the most popular ones as pets are:

  • Chinese turtle
  • Malaysian Box turtle 
  • CBB Asian Turtle 
  • Malayan Box Turtle
  • Indonesian Box turtle. 

The care and environment for Asian box turtles are more or less alike. So, I will not get into all the subspecies. Let us know about some of these subspecies here: 

1. Chinese Box Turtles 

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Cuora flavomarginata
  • Other Names: Yellow-margined box turtle, Golden-headed turtle, Snake-eating turtle. 
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Average Size: 5 to 6 inches 
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Area Temperature:  85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Humidity level: 60 % to 70% 
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 25 to 40 years 
  • Average Price: $300 to $400
  • Care Level: Intermediate 

Size and Appearance: 

Chinese box turtles are one of the most popular box turtles as pets in Asia. On average, an adult Chinese box turtle gets 5 to 6 inches long. But records say that these turtles can grow as big as 12 inches! 

The high-domed carapace is dark brown with a yellow or cream-yellow vertebral keel. The scutes near the edges of the shell have a lighter shade. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Chinese box turtles are native to China, Taiwan, and Japan. These turtles are mostly seen in the rice patty and pond areas close to shallow water. As pets, these turtles feel more comfortable in outdoor enclosures similar to their habitats rather than indoor enclosures. 

Also, keep 50% land area and 50% water area. As Chinese box turtles are tropical species, the water temperature should be 75 to 80 degrees F. 

Lifespan: 

In captivity, these turtles can live 25 to 40 years. But in a caring environment, Chinese box turtles can live 100 years! Many Chinese families have owned these turtles in their families for decades. 

Food Habit: 

Chinese box turtles are omnivores, with a preference for fruit and vegetables. They may not eat lots of leaves. But they like shredded fruits and vegetables. For protein sources, they need earthworms, mealworms, crickets, roaches, snails, and slugs. 

Keeping Chinese Box Turtles as Pets 

Chinese box turtles can be a delightful addition to your family. They get friendly with their owners quite soon. Their size can get over 6 inches. So, owners should consider that. Also, keeping Asian turtles as pets outside their environment is risky because of predators and climate change. The temperature and humidity level has to be maintained carefully. 

2. Malaysian Box Turtle  

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Cuora amboinensis kamaroma
  • Other Names: Amboina Box turtle, Southeast Asian Box turtle
  • Type: Aquatic 
  • Size: 8 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Basking Temperature: 82 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Humidity level: 60 to 80 %
  • Eating Habit: Omnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 25 to 35 years 
  • Average Price: N/A
  • Care Level: Hard 

Size and Appearance: 

Malaysian box turtles are subspecies of Amboina box turtles. They are medium size aquatic turtles that grow up to 8 inches long. They have dark brown or black shells. The shell is almost plain, and the marking on them are not so visible. 

Native Place and Habitat: 

Malaysian box turtles live in South Asian countries where the water is warm, and the humidity is high. They stay in shallow water in ponds, paddy fields, marshes, and grasslands. They do most of their activities in the water.

So, their enclosure should be built considering their natural environment. The water temperature should be between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The water level should not be deep, since they are not good swimmers. 

Food Habit: 

Malaysian box turtles are omnivores. But as they grow older, they prefer veggies more than protein food. Their diet requires worms, insects, crustaceans, mushrooms, aquatic insects, mollusks, and aquatic plants.

Lifespan: 

Most Amboina box turtles, such as the Malaysian box turtles, live 25 to 35 years. 

Keeping Malaysian Box Turtles as Pets 

Malaysian box turtles are rare these days. They require extreme care from their owners. You may also have to pay a good fortune to gain these turtles if you live outside Asia. 

3. McCord Box Turtle

Quick Overview:

  • Scientific Name: Cuora mccordi 
  • Type: Semi-aquatic 
  • Size: 5.5 to 7 inches
  • Average Enclosure Temperature: 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Basking Temperature: 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity level: 60 to 80 %
  • Eating Habit: Carnivores 
  • Average Lifespan: 30 to 40 years 
  • Average Price: $7,500 to $8,000
  • Care Level: Hard

Size and Appearance: 

Finally, in this list, we have the most expensive box turtle, the McCord Box Turtle. Adult McCord Box Turtle gets 5.5 to 7 inches long. Their domed carapace can be dark brown or reddish-brown. The edges of the shell have darker shades. The skin of these turtles is yellow with black markings on their heads.  

Native Place and Habitat: 

McCord Box Turtles are native to China. They live in steams of the mountain area of central Guangxi province of the country. They spend most of their time in the water. However, they come out for basking. They burrow themselves in the ground during the daytime and remain active at night. 

Food Habit: 

McCord box turtles are carnivores. They live on fish, snails, crayfish, shrimp, and earthworms. Sometimes they like to eat a limited amount of fruits and vegetables. 

Lifespan: 

The average lifespan of McCord box turtles is 30 to 40 years. Depending on care and environment, a McCord box turtle may live about 50 years. 

Keeping McCord Box Turtles as Pets 

You can hardly find a McCord box turtle these days. These turtles might be available in expensive pet shops. Since they are a special species of box turtle, you have to pay several thousands of dollars for them. 

Moreover, these turtles can be sensitive. If you keep them outside, you have to build a complex enclosure for them. So, they are for experience turtle owners. 

Things to Know Before Getting A Box Turtle

Box turtles are an amazing species of turtles that can make adorable pets. They are very active and nice to look at. Thus, many people, regardless of experience, consider getting a box turtle. But taking care of box turtles is not easy. You have to consider many things before getting a box turtle. 

Here is what you need to consider: 

There Are Different Species of Box Turtles 

Box turtles have many species and subspecies. Since they are they fall under the same species, they have similarities. However, each species has its unique characteristics. Box turtles are available in different parts of the world. Hence, they differ in terms of looks, habits, and needs.  

So, the first step in getting a box turtle is to learn about the different species and subspecies of box turtles. Then you have to choose which one you can keep as a pet. Eastern box turtles are always the best box turtles for beginners. However, a spotted turtle is not the right choice for new turtle owners. 

Box turtles Live A Long Life

When you get a pet, surely you want to keep it comfortable and healthy. The same goes for a pet turtle, right? With good care and the right environment, box turtles can live a long time. Most box turtles live 30 to 50 years in captivity.

Can you take care of a box turtle for such a long time? You may have to hand it over to your next generation, as turtles can outlive you. So, you have to decide if you are ready to have a pet for a lifetime. 

Size Is Important

The size of your box turtle is an important factor to consider. Different types of box turtles can grow up to different sizes. They can be small or medium. Choose a box turtle depending on how much space you can provide them. While some species stop growing once they become 4 inches, others may become 7 inches long. 

Consider Box Turtle’s Native Environment 

Controlling the humidity level is crucial for turtle’s health. Hence, it is better to choose a box turtle species native to your area or can adjust to your climate without much problem. If you live in The USA, get common turtles. 

If you have previous experience with turtle keeping, you may get an Asian or Mexican box turtle. But do you have the means to create favourable conditions for the turtles?

Box turtles need the ideal temperature and humidity level to live a healthy life. Recreate an environment similar to your box turtle’s native environment. Eastern box turtles stay healthy at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, a tropical box turtle needs a higher temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Indoors or Outdoors Habitat

Some box turtles are most comfortable living in an outdoor enclosure. But you may not have the space to build an outdoor enclosure. Or, the turtles might be at risk of external danger like predatory animals. 

In that case, you have to keep your box turtles indoors. When you keep them indoors, you need to monitor the temperature and humidity level regularly. Think carefully if you have the time, resources and space to build a box turtle enclosure. 

Box Turtles Need Water Too

Box turtles spend most of their life on land instead of water. Nonetheless, box turtles need water like any other turtle. They need it for occasional swimming, wading, drinking, and other activities. 

So, keep a water area for your box turtle when you build the enclosure. Box turtles are not good swimmers. Make sure the water is shallow for the turtles to swim but easy to get out. So, the enclosures for box turtles are different from other turtle tanks.  

Learn What They Eat

Most pet box turtles are omnivores meaning they feed on both animal and plant-based foods. All box turtles have similar food preferences. But their preference can vary based on their native location.

While some box turtles like to eat, mostly animals and insects. Other species may mostly live on plants and vegetables. You should research the food habit of box turtles before getting one. It will help you understand if you can provide a balanced diet to your future pet.  

The legality of Owning Box Turtles

I think this point should be actually on the top of the list of things to consider. Many species of box turtles are declared endangered species. Countries have laws about legally owning box turtles. 

For example, in the USA, there are state laws for keeping turtles. You have to be careful when you buy a box turtle. You have to check the law if the species you are getting is legal to keep in your area. It is better to know which box turtles are allowed as pets in your state before your choose one. 

Who Should Not Get A Box Turtle? 

Box turtles are small and beautiful reptiles. Their high-domed carapace with remarkable patterns makes them wonderful to look at. But is it a suitable pet for just anyone? No, it is not. As you can see in the above list of box turtles, most of them require prior experience in turtle rearing. 

So, box turtles are not for children or inexperienced people. Most box turtles have to be handled gently. They dislike being touched too often. Box turtles need time to adjust to their new environment.

Besides, not all species of box turtles get friendly with their owners. So, people who want playful turtles to interact with should avoid getting box turtles. Box turtles are cute reptiles that should be enjoyed from far.

Another reason for not keeping box turtles is the lack of resources. An owner of a box turtle should be able to maintain the turtle’s habitat and needs regularly. Thus, people who cannot afford to maintain a box turtle should not get one.  

If you do not mind these problems and have previous experience with turtles, box turtles can be good pets. Since you know how to handle turtles, you can make them trust you. With time, they will be less stressed around you and become friendlier. 

Conclusion 

Hopefully, the list of different box turtles will help you choose the right species of box turtle as a pet. Remember to check which box turtles are legal to keep in your area. Always buy turtles from a legal breeder or adoption centre. 

Box turtles are the most comfortable in their native climate. Hence, you should consider getting a box turtle that is common in your area. 

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping turtles as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my turtle keeping knowledge with you.

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