Tort Identification Needed/Bored Holes in Shell Advice

Deaf Paul

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One of the custodians at my school found a tort walking across our main lawn a hour ago. I need some help identifying it as I'm not quite familiar with torts that aren't sulcattas.

I did a quick google search online and looked at some pictures but have not figured out what species it is. Seems like a combination of yellow foot, redfoot and golden greek. I need to find out what it is ASAP so I can make sure it has the correct food/moisture/shelter needed. I only know of sulcatas, redfoots, hermanns and sri lanikais being imported and/or bred here. My first reaction was that this was a box turtle as I had one as a little kid when I lived on the mainland but I have never heard of one being imported or kept here, but then again, I only paid attention to torts when I first got started out with this.

Pictures:

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I am also concerned about some small holes in it's shell - any idea what might have caused this, or what kind of treatments it might need. No weeping or fluids coming out. Shell feels relatively solid (not sulcatta solid though). Bottom forward 1/3 is hinged and moves upward when the tort tucks it's head and legs in (and thus my first reaction that it was a box turtle - my sulcattas do not do this and don't think torts do). I assume this is normal for this species?

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For the meantime, I put it in our old tort terrarium on our back lanai (Hawaiian for deck). Has not been used in 2 years so it looks terrible right now. Will add water into the dishes, water the dirt, cut back the weeds a bit and add some hay for the time being.

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-Paul
 

Jacqui

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Looks to me like you found a beautiful old three toed box turtle. Does he have three toes on his hind feet? Looks like at some point, something got a hold of him and made those marks on his shell. Nothing to worry about now.
 

mike taylor

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Thats a box turtle . Maybe a wild one the best thing is to put it back where it came from .
 

wellington

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He is definitely a box turtle of some kind. Is not any of the tortoises you mentioned. He does have the same kind of shell a couple three toed had that I helped rehome.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Those holes in the shell of three toed box turtles are a well discussed mystery that has been considered by seasoned field biologists, herpetologists, box turtle 0-philes etc for many decades. You get a solid answer on that one and you will gain the respect of many. It's a three toed, no doubt about it. Don't get too caught up in counting the toes.
 

Jacqui

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I assume your on one of the islands? So do not let it loose again, as it is not native there. Do however try to see if you can find it's owner. Box turtles can be pretty good at escaping.
 

Deaf Paul

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Will said:
Don't get too caught up in counting the toes.

I counted anyways - Yup, three toes out back. Mahalo (thanks) everybody! :cool:

Mike Taylor - we have no native turtles or torts here other than sea turtles so it's not a wild box turtle or so to speak. We'll probably go ahead and keep it as a class pet (the Sulcattas grew too much to be kept here even in a outdoor pen we built, but a box turtle should do just great).

-Paul
 

tortoise5643

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Re: RE: Tort Identification Needed/Bored Holes in Shell Advice

Will said:
Those holes in the shell of three toed box turtles are a well discussed mystery that has been considered by seasoned field biologists, herpetologists, box turtle 0-philes etc for many decades. You get a solid answer on that one and you will gain the respect of many. It's a three toed, no doubt about it. Don't get too caught up in counting the toes.

I read this and was also wondering. I have 3 3 toeds with those holes on them so when I saw thus I continued reading to try and figure out..... I guess I'm not going to
 

mike taylor

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Then thats great ! I did not know you were in Hawaii . We always find them here and the kids want to keep them . I have to be the bad guy and let them go . I tell my boys if everyone picked one up and took one home they will disappear in the wild and that would be tragic . But good save .
 

diamondbp

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That's a old nicely colored 3toed female. The holes in the shell are a mystery as of now. I suspect that it occurs during hibernation but the actual "cause" of it will be extremely hard to determine. I have seen many 3toed specimens over the years and it seems that the ones that have it usually have multiple holes and not simply one or two, but there are always exceptions.

She really is beautiful though. It's not often you see females with such colors. I bet she was a knockout beauty 20 years ago!
 

Irwin4530

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Maybe it's the fact that I'm looking at this on my phone and not a computer screen..... But I think that looks like an awesome enclosure the way it is, if anything I would add more plants not thin or weed them.

At any rate good find I'm glad she ended up in good hands!
 

terryo

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What a beautiful and very old Three Toed Box Turtle. I would only suggest that you give her a larger water dish for soaking. If you can get a plastic cat litter box and put some stones on the bottom to make it easy for her to climb in and out, and put it down into the soil, it will be like a little pond, where she can soak and drink from. Otherwish that is a great little turtle garden you made for her.
 

TortsNTurtles

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She is beautiful!! Now that's my dream box turtle. I love the solid shell color with all the colors coming out on the turtle. Did you name her?
 

Saleama

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That enclosure, while it may look wild and weedy to you, is actually a really good start to a box turtle home! Add some more cover and a big swimming area and she will be fine as long as you take her out for a spin a few times a week. I really think you should look for a possible owner. I know if I were in Hawaii and had taken the time and money to get a three toed boxie over there, then I would be worried sick about her right now. She is quite beautiful by the way!
 

Terry Allan Hall

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Irwin4530 said:
Maybe it's the fact that I'm looking at this on my phone and not a computer screen..... But I think that looks like an awesome enclosure the way it is, if anything I would add more plants not thin or weed them.

At any rate good find I'm glad she ended up in good hands!

Agreed! Looks like a pretty nice enclosure for a boxy!

Let a box of fishing worms lose in the dirt, keep it somewhat moist and she's hunt worms, from time to time!
 
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