Two species of box turtles native to Indiana When I was a boy it was a common event for an eastern box turtle to make a visit into my family’s yard or garden. They apparently were looking for food or water. This was an event I looked forward to as I found this little reptile of great interest and fun to watch.

revengefully mädels kennenlernen wien Sad to say we have not seen a single box turtle near our home for years. In addition, I can hike into woods where I always in the past could find several box turtles and not fine one. Apparently the decline of the eastern box turtle is due to a number of factors. Loss of habitat is one, while others, such as disease, over collection and unknown agents, have led to the decline of this interesting member of our Hoosier natural history.

gay chat roulet Kotka There are two species of box turtles native to Indiana. They are the eastern, which does or did range all across the state. The other species is the ornate box turtle that has a very restricted habitat in Hoosierland. It only can be found in a few counties in extreme northwestern Indiana and a small disjoined population in Knox, Daviess and Gibson counties. Prime habitat for the eastern box turtle is well-drained woodland, while the ornate likes a sandy, open territory to roam over.

conocer personas sesma Karcag The ornate differs from the eastern by the well-ornamented coloration in both its above and below body, and has a very pretty mixture of yellow and dark brown or black on its carapace. It also seems to tolerate heat and arid conditions better than the eastern. Also a hard rain will often result in a large number of ornates appearing in an area where you may not know they even exist.üdamerikanerin-kennenlernen.html Both species are omnivorous. They love to eat fruit and berries, as well as other vegetation, insects and other little creatures they may come across.

The eastern is most active in the first weeks of really warm weather and after a rain is a good time to look for them. Later in the year they begin to become harder to find as they tend to hide or rest in the roots of trees, old stumps and decaying logs. Trash piles and dense cover of vines and even cavities around buildings are used as resting sites.

The age of box turtles is something that is often quite controversial. On the average a 30- to 40-year-old turtle is the norm. However, stories of really old box turtles abound. There are records of these turtles 90 to 100 years of age. These are from box turtles that have a date carved into their shells.

One with the date 1836 was found in 1954. It is said that an immature turtle would be unable to survive with a date carved in its carapace, so add 10 or so years to a carved date to allow for a mature turtle to be able to survive such a carving.

The box turtle is now protected in the state of Indiana. They may not be taken from the wild at any time and it is illegal to harm or collect one. In addition, all other turtles except the snapping turtle and the two species of soft shell turtles native to Indiana can’t be collected from the wild.

The snapping turtle and soft shell can only be taken between July 1 and March 31 of the following years, and a length of at least 12 inches in carapace length to allow these to be taken. A valid hunting or fishing license also must be with a person to collect these turtles.

Back to the age of old box turtles, the story goes that a man brought in a turtle that had the date 1492 carved on its shell. That’s nothing, said a man when he saw the retile. He went out and returned an hour or so with one carved with “Adam.”

Let us hope that the decline of our box turtles can be reversed and they can still live for a hundred or so years.

Harold Allison is an outdoor enthusiast. He is a retired postal worker and makes his home in Cumback.