Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern Box Turtle

Montgomery Co., Illinois
May 2, 1992

Although I spent a decade growing up on the banks of the Mississippi, with Illinois in plain sight, it was a long time before I ever came across an Eastern Box Turtle.  The western side of this turtle's range ends abruptly at the Mississippi.  Indeed, I had to get married to find one.  My wife and I were married in Litchfield, her home town, and we stayed several days there.  One day we visited nearby Lake Yeager, and as it sometimes happens with Box Turtles, we heard one scratching around in the leaf litter near the shore, and soon found it.  It was beautifully marked, all yellow and black on its head and carapace, and me with no camera.

I've seen dozens of Eastern Box Turtles since then, and many were incredibly beautiful turtles with brilliant colors on head, limbs, and shell. The top photo is an Illinois specimen, and the bottom turtle is a fire-scarred veteran from Kentucky.









Return to Life List Index                    Return to Mike's Page