female eastern box turtles

Status
Not open for further replies.

mattk

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
132
Location (City and/or State)
delaware
I have an eastern box turtle a female who has absoutly no color on her. her pics are in another thread i posted earlier. does anyone have any pics of female easterns. also i know some say females are not as colorful but mine has no color at all.
 

terryo

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
8,972
Location (City and/or State)
Staten Island, New York
I have a few hatchlings that are all black. I don't know their parents as someone gave them to me. These are different shots of some of my females. They are all very young, so I'm just starting to notice their sex. Everyone is hibernating now so this is last Summer. Can you post a picture of yours? or..where is the thread you posted...I can't find it. I'll look again.
001-68.jpg


022-36.jpg


009-61.jpg


004-66.jpg


007-55.jpg


039-14.jpg


018-37.jpg


060-6.jpg
 

mattk

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
132
Location (City and/or State)
delaware
WOW very beautiful box turtles u have there. here are a few pics of mine she has absolutely no yellow in here any where.
boxxy.JPG boxxy1.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

supremelysteve

Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
609
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
The Shell.
What exactly do you mean by "no color"? She does have a sunburst on every scute, and quite a bit more than the average female eastern box turtle.
Do you mean that the color is washed out (dull and lacking in intensity)?

Eastern box turtles are extremely variable in pattern and shape. The color regions and their hue are genetically determined. To some degree, the intensity is probably genetic as well. We think that expression of color in shell is made by depositing certain keratinoids from the diet to the appropriate parts of the shell. Then, sunlight or certain wavelengths of uv radiation activate pigment producing cells in the living dermal tissues between the scute and the shell to produce the color.
When the turtle is young and still growing, these pigment producing cells are able to produce color more quickly. An adult turtle produces this more slowly because the scutes are finished growing, and only being slowly added to as they wear.

If the turtle has spent a long time without sunlight, its shell may be very washed out, or dull white, where the vivid color once was. By allowing the turtle to bask in actual sunlight, or possibly in the right wavelength and intensity of artificial lighting, over time, the turtle will regain some or all of its color potential. It is unknown how long this takes.
I have a turtle, Molly that was nearly black and white when I got her, and after 4 years, she has regained a lot of yellow.

Skin color.
The same might be true of skin color. In many lizards, skin color and intensity is connected to sunlight exposure as well.

Here are some examples. All these pictures except the first one were taken around the same time, last fall.
Molly when I first got her.

IMG_4400s.jpg


Molly last fall. I tried to pick a similar picture, dry and in the sun. It's subtle, but there is definitely more color than 4 years ago.
IMG_0487s.jpg


A female, Caroline, with both lots of color regions and also intensely hued color. She is one of the most intensely colored EBT's I've ever seen. I picked this picture because you can see the difference being wet makes on the shell color. She is both wet and dry.
IMG_0429s.jpg


Here is Rueban, my longest kept male. He spends plenty of time in the sun.
IMG_0349s.jpg


Here is his other side.
IMG_0417s.jpg


Here is a closeup of his shell in that picture. Notice the distinct intense color areas and the "washed out" color areas are right next to each other. This may be genetic, or maybe the washed out regions add color more slowly. Maybe he will be more vivid in 5 years. Or maybe he is slowly losing color. Maybe he gains it and loses it due to my husbandry and/or his diet.
IMG_0417s-3.jpg


Here is his head, same picture. Notice that the orange color is not as vivid as some, and their is some dark coloration mottled in. I believe that this is Ruebans genetic potential. He won't be as vivid as some. This is his spot in the spectrum of EBT potential.
IMG_0417s-2.jpg


For perspective, here he is dry and in the sun.
IMG_0323s.jpg


Here is another picture, all are females. You can see many different patterns, hues, and color intensity. This was my group of females 2 years ago. I ended up reducing my group by about half because so many of them needed special care to eat, and I didn't have time to work with them individually. Those turtles are now with someone who has the time to work with them individually.
IMG_0898s.jpg


With proper access to sunlight, your female should be able to recover much of her color intensity over time.
 

yagyujubei

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
2,407
Location (City and/or State)
Amish Country
These are all females with the exception of the two bottom right.
000_1918.jpg

I think that some have faded a bit since this pic was taken, and I intend to give them more sun from now on.
 

mattk

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
132
Location (City and/or State)
delaware
Sorry that is what i meant really washed out to the point the sunbursts are a very dirty white. she has no yellow or any bright colors on her at all. I was thinking the same thing about it might be because she didnt get a lot of sunlight. i just adopted her and i think that she was kept inside all her life. i am going to be building a nice pen outside for her so when the weather gets a lot nicer she will be spending the summer outside.
 

kimber_lee_314

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
2,629
Location (City and/or State)
So Cal
Some are lighter - some are brighter. As you said, giving her lots of sunshine will help ... plus, she looks to be young, give her some time. :)
 

mattk

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
132
Location (City and/or State)
delaware
Thanks everyone. I'm going to be building her pen outside soon. What would be a good sized on for a box turtle
 

supremelysteve

Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
609
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
How big can you make it? As long as it gets direct sunlight for some of the day, morning being preferable, make it as big as you can. 4x6 feet might be nice. If you're thinking about possibly getting more, go bigger. I just split up my pen into 5 pens. Each of the smaller pens is 3 foot by 18 feet and will house up to a 1.4 group.
 

turtlemann2

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
787
Location (City and/or State)
Mid Willamette Valley, Or
5 sq feet MIN. i like to get a 2x12 so that the pen is 12 feet long and another 4 feet wide perhaps up against the side of a house depending on how much space you have, some of those EBT's above are just amazingly colorerd!
 

terryo

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
8,972
Location (City and/or State)
Staten Island, New York
All your box turtles are beautiful, but that Rueban is exceptional. Really stunning. I love that head...looks like mosaic tile.
 

supremelysteve

Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
609
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
terryo said:
All your box turtles are beautiful, but that Rueban is exceptional. Really stunning. I love that head...looks like mosaic tile.

Yeah, Rueben is my personal favorite as well. I've had him the longest, and he seems to have the most eccentric personality. He's the only box turtle I've ever had that has never had any problems acclimating. He's never been sick, or afraid of people, or anything.
His only issue is that he's starting to get a little fat. It's going to be hard to cut his weight while trying to increase everyone elses!

I've always kind of wished he had brighter head color. Glad someone likes him that way.

Here's Rueben (just realized I've been using both spellings of Ruebe/an. Guess its ok, he can't read) talking.
TalkingRueban.gif
 

jojodesca

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Messages
769
Location (City and/or State)
Bay Area
From what I read so far, are you guys saying that the more sunlight they get the brighter their colors on their shells...and if so will this work for Ornates as well?...TTBT?
 

terryo

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
8,972
Location (City and/or State)
Staten Island, New York
I don't know about Ornates, but mine was 32 years old and was outside all the time and she never got any more color than what she had for 32 years.
007-29.jpg
 

supremelysteve

Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
609
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
jojodesca said:
From what I read so far, are you guys saying that the more sunlight they get the brighter their colors on their shells...and if so will this work for Ornates as well?...TTBT?

Almost. With enough sunlight, they will reach their genetic potential.

Once color has been lost, it may or may not to be fully recovered with enough sunlight.

Easterns appear to be this way, and I would assume other box turtles are as well. Terry's ornate may be at the maximum potential color intensity that its genes gave it. Color intensity probably varies genetically from individual to individual.

Again, this is not my idea. It is based on this article.
http://herpetology.com/belzer2/color.htm

Steve
 

mattk

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
132
Location (City and/or State)
delaware
That's good to know. Hopefully once I am able to take mine outside she will brighten up some.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top