Is my baby turtle an eastern or three-toed?

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Baby easterns are more colorful than your baby. It might be a gulf coast. But, yes, you're correct. A Terrapene carolina triunguis would have only three toes on the back feet.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jul 20, 2016
Location (City and/or State)
Based on Kentucky being where you found it the wild and the four toes on the rear feet, I would call that an eastern box turtle. Eastern box turtle hatchling color can vary greatly within a specific local or even a single clutch. I was given a yearling eastern box turtle that upon hatchling was originally thought to be some degree of melanistic (mostly black) but within approximately 10 months started developing nice bright orange markings on its shell and limbs. It's three clutch mates hatched out with orange and or yellow markings right from the start. That's not to imply that this hatchling will develop a great deal of color as it grows, and if you found it in the western extremes of Kentucky, it is likely carrying some genetic material of the three toed box turtle as their ranges can overlap in that part of the state.

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