Ornate Box Turtle - Terrapene ornata


*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.

Fact Sheet on Box Turtles

Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: Only the Plains Box Turtle, Terrapene ornata ornata, occurs within Louisiana.


Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Extreme southwestern Louisiana Parishes of Cameron and Calcasieu.


Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  Ornate Box Turtles are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G5 (Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  None

Louisiana Conservation Status:  Ornate Box Turtles have a ranking of S1 (critically imperiled because of extreme rarity – 5 or fewer known extant populations) in Louisiana. Additionally, they are a ‘restricted harvest’ species in Louisiana, where, with a proper license, they may be taken, but take is limited to two box turtles per day, and possession is limited to four box turtles of the genus Terrapene at any time.

*** If you live in the range of this species in Louisiana and believe you may have observed this species please let me know (take a picture if possible), as there may be more unknown populations in the state.***

Author's Remarks: I have never observed this species in the state, but have rarely herped in the extreme southwest portion of the state where they are known.

All images on site are sole property of B.M. Glorioso. To use any images on this site please contact me at:  gloriosob429@gmail.com © 2020