What Do Wild Box Turtles Eat?
Box turtles are amazing animals, found in the United States in many parts of North America. Box turtles are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Wild box turtles’ diets vary depending on their age, habitat, and availability of food.
Young Box Turtles
Young box turtles usually eat tons of invertebrates like snails, beetles, grasshoppers, slugs, caterpillars, and other bugs. They also enjoy munching on some plants like clover and dandelion greens.
Adult Box Turtles
Older box turtles eat a wider variety of food than young ones. Adult box turtles are able to take on a more balanced diet that consists of:
- Invertebrates: worms, slugs, snails, and insects.
- Fruit: apples, strawberries, and other ripe fruit.
- Vegetation: grasses, mushrooms, clover, and dandelion greens.
- Other Foods: earthworms, crickets, mealworms.
Similarly to other species of turtles, box turtles are also known to occasionally eat carrion, which is dead and decaying animals or plant matter. While this isn’t something wild box turtles would rely on for daily nutrition, it is sometimes a convenient snack.
Apple slices are a favorite treat for wild box turtles, but should not form a major part of their diet. Apples, like other fruit, are high in sugar and can cause oxidative stress and other health problems. Box turtles that do eat apples must and should only be given them as treats in moderation.
Giving Your Wild Box Turtle the Right Diet
Wild box turtles need an adequate and varied diet to maintain their health, so it’s important to provide them with a variety of foods in the wild. If you care for a box turtle as a pet, make sure you provide him or her with a healthy diet to ensure they live a long and happy life.
Happy box turtle food shopping!