ORNATE BOX TURTLE
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Terrapene ornata ornata
HOUSE NAME: "Buck" & "Smalls"
HABITAT: Open grassland prairie and sandy-soiled terrain throughout the midwest United States.
CONSERVATION STATUS: Near Threatened
With the approach of winter (dropping temperature and diminishing food), they dig into the ground or enter dens or burrows of other animals for the purposes of hibernation.
DIET: Primarily carnivorous. They feed on beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, cicadas, earthworms, and dead vertebrates. They also regularly consume berries and other fruits. Has been seen feeding on pincushion cactus.
Highly domed carapace (top shell), no keel, with a distinctive pattern of radiating yellowish lines on a black or brown background. Plastron (lower shell) has movable hinges. Shell length is normally 4-5 inches, with the largest Kansas specimen found being a female measuring 6⅛ inches. Females grow slightly larger than males. Adult males have red eyes, females are yellowish brown. The head and limbs are dark brown, gray, or greenish, and are covered with yellow or orange-yellow spots.