Ornate box turtle

Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
90
I was thinking about buying an adult ornate box turtle but I had some questions that I hope could be answer. First off could it live with my baby ornate/three toed box turtle ( I'm not sure of the species I purchased it as an ornate but I've been told it's a three toed. Secondly if it's an adult I assume it's wild caught witch I don't mind but how long will it live I don't want to buy a turtle that only has a couple years left to live. I was looking on Turtles and Tortoises inc and I've heard only good things about them so I dont think I would be sold a bad turtle. Any response would be appriciated!
 

Turtlepete

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
951
Location (City and/or State)
South Florida
Post a pic of your other one. For anyone experienced in identification it should be very easy to tell the difference between 3-toes and ornata.

My advice on ornata would be to steer for another species. If you are truly dedicated to the challenge then be my guest, but understand it is just that: a challenge. By far not a beginner species. Mine have given me nothing but problems and were very difficult to get established. I had a thriving male drop dead for no reason I can discern. I have heard from numerous other boxie keepers as well that they have difficulty maintaining ornata. I would say they are probably by far the hardest NA box turtle to care for. Perhaps starting with a young CB specimen would lessen the challenge though.

If you are looking to have one co-habitate with your baby, its not a good idea with ornata. They can be very aggressive. I have not successfully bred mine yet, but I've heard the hatchlings/yearlings can cannabalize each other.

The debate of purchasing WC turtles can be had by whoever cares to participate in that endless argument, but you won't be buying a turtle that has "years to live". Boxies live for a very, very long time. However WC animals can also be less healthy. If they are WC-origin then be sure they are LTC's.

If you are looking for boxies, I absolutely love Florida's, T. carolina bauri. They are a beautiful species with tons of personality and very easy to care for properly. Easily my favorite NA box species.
 

johnsonnboswell

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5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
Messages
2,236
Adults and babies should not live together. Some people recommend that you not mix species, others aren't particular about that, but size matters, and babies cannot live safely with adults.

An adult box turtle could live a hundred years, but that depends on its previous care and the care you give it. An adult is likely to be hardier than a hatchling. However, wild caught BTs sometimes have trouble transitioning to captivity, so that requires particular care.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
90
Post a pic of your other one. For anyone experienced in identification it should be very easy to tell the difference between 3-toes and ornata.

My advice on ornata would be to steer for another species. If you are truly dedicated to the challenge then be my guest, but understand it is just that: a challenge. By far not a beginner species. Mine have given me nothing but problems and were very difficult to get established. I had a thriving male drop dead for no reason I can discern. I have heard from numerous other boxie keepers as well that they have difficulty maintaining ornata. I would say they are probably by far the hardest NA box turtle to care for. Perhaps starting with a young CB specimen would lessen the challenge though.

If you are looking to have one co-habitate with your baby, its not a good idea with ornata. They can be very aggressive. I have not successfully bred mine yet, but I've heard the hatchlings/yearlings can cannabalize each other.

The debate of purchasing WC turtles can be had by whoever cares to participate in that endless argument, but you won't be buying a turtle that has "years to live". Boxies live for a very, very long time. However WC animals can also be less healthy. If they are WC-origin then be sure they are LTC's.

If you are looking for boxies, I absolutely love Florida's, T. carolina bauri. They are a beautiful species with tons of personality and very easy to care for properly. Easily my favorite NA box species.
I think I've found a sulution. I was looking on the website and found some 2011 hatchlings with are about full grown by now so I would be getting an adult or almost adult but I know how it's age and it's probably better than a WC.
 

terryo

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10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
8,974
Location (City and/or State)
Staten Island, New York
I had my ornate for about 35 years and then one morning I found her dead on top of her favorite plant. No reason I could think of. One thing, I would not advise you to keep a baby with any older turtle. They should at least be the same size, if not the same age. My juveniles are kept in a smaller out door garden so I can find them easily, and the babies are in a Christmas Tree storage bin that is heavily planted so they have places to hide. The juveniles won't go in the big garden until they are just about the same size as the adults, even though they are younger.
 
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