What did I find in my backyard?

kalei01

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Feb 11, 2017
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Location (City and/or State)
Lubbock, TX
Species?
 

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MichaelL

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Nov 18, 2018
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Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
Do ornates have the green head? I was leaning towards desert box turtle. Probably ornate though.
 

TeamZissou

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Aug 23, 2020
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Albuquerque, NM
Do ornates have the green head? I was leaning towards desert box turtle. Probably ornate though.

Desert box turtles are a subspecies of ornate box turtle, hence the scientific name of Terrapene ornata luteola. Supposedly they should not be in Lubbock Tx.

 

MichaelL

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Ocala, Fl
Desert box turtles are a subspecies of ornate box turtle, hence the scientific name of Terrapene ornata luteola. Supposedly they should not be in Lubbock Tx.

Plastron is Ornate. And C2 looks Ornate (Desert has more rays - 11-14 I think).
Thank you both for clarifying.
 

m irwin

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Feb 4, 2021
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46
Location (City and/or State)
Dallas
The first turtle is an outstanding example of a male Ornate box turtle. With a large hole in the side of his shell! The second one is very odd. Looks like a three toed but it's shell pattern is very odd. NOT like "normal" three toed's. Could be a hybrid. Anyway, I see you're in Lubbock, TX. Ornate's are definitely native to your area. it is NOT an escaped pet. It's a wild turtle and should be released back where you found it. Turtles in general are facing so much pressure from habitat destruction and fragmentation, as well as illegal collecting, and on and on, that taking from the wild does so much long term damage to local populations. Hope that helps.
 

ZenHerper

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Feb 27, 2020
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New Jersey
The range for Desert gets into a bit of far SW Texas, so less likely up as far as Lubbock. Also this fellow is quite dramatically spindled and mutilated, so the patterning is kinda wrecked.

T.o.o and T.o.l. are the same Species, so differences can be subtle. To make things more weird, Deserts have two naturally occurring color morphs.

Bauri and 3Ts are both highly domed, so I'd expect an escaped pet intergrade to be very round on top as well.

A photo of highly representative Ornate v. Desert - plenty of turtles don't give as much contrast and fall in between the patterns. I think Ornates are deeper brown than the dark Desert morph.

U.S. Range map:

I agree ZeroPilot's looks Eastern x 3T or Bauri.
 
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