Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis)


In 2007, the three-toed box turtle became Missouri’s official state reptile. Most Missourians are familiar with this land-dwelling turtle. Three-toed box turtles, as their name implies, usually have three hind toes (although there are some four-toed exceptions!). Its hinged bottom shell allows the turtle to retreat inside as if into a box. Males have red eyes and females have brown. One other species of box turtle is native to Missouri: the ornate box turtle.


Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo)

§10.175. Three-toed box turtle, official state reptile. – The three-toed box turtle, scientifically designated as Terrapene carolina triunguis, is selected for and shall be known as the official reptile of the state of Missouri. (L. 2007 H.B. 272)

approved 21 June 2007
effective 28 August 2007


Photo Gallery:

Click on an image below to enlarge and read a caption. This will open a new window in the Missouri State Symbols Flickr album.

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Additional Resources:

Search historic issues of the Missouri Conservationist on the Missouri Digital Heritage website.

The Missouri Department of Conservation State Documents Collection at the Missouri State Archives includes several publications on turtles. See the finding aid online.


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