What Do Ornate Box Turtles Eat?

Gone are the days of feeding only traditional vegetables and fruits to pet turtles – now, pet owners have the opportunity to get creative with the diets of their beloved turtles. Ornate box turtles, a species native to the United States, are no exception. But what do ornate box turtles eat? In this article, we’ll explore the diet of these fascinating creatures, providing helpful tips and advice on what to feed them and how to ensure their diet remains balanced.

What Do Ornate Box Turtles Eat?

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What Do Ornate Box Turtles Eat?

Ornate box turtles are native to the United States, and they are omnivorous. This means that their diet consists of both animal and plant matter. They are found in many different habitats, from deserts to forests, and they will consume whatever is available in the area.


Ornate box turtles are herbivores, and they enjoy a varied diet of plants. They will eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grasses, and other plants. Some of the most common items they eat are dandelions, clover, grass, and wild strawberries. They also enjoy the occasional treat of corn or other grain-based food.


Insects make up a large portion of the ornate box turtle’s diet. They will eat crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects they find in their habitat. They also enjoy earthworms, snails, and slugs. They are also known to eat spiders and other small arachnids.


Ornate box turtles are also known to eat small mammals, such as mice, voles, and shrews. They will also eat frogs, lizards, and snakes, as well as eggs from birds or other reptiles.

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Ornate box turtles will also eat carrion, or dead animals, if they come across them in the wild. They are not picky eaters, so they will consume whatever they find.

Foods to Avoid

While an ornate box turtle may eat almost anything, there are some foods that you should avoid giving them. These include salamanders, toads, and any type of raw meat, as these can cause digestive issues and other health problems.

Commercial Foods

Commercial foods are also available for ornate box turtles, and they should make up a portion of their diet. These include pellet foods, freeze-dried insects, and canned foods. These foods are formulated to provide the essential vitamins and minerals that turtles need to stay healthy.

Feeding Frequency

Ornate box turtles should be fed daily. They should be given a variety of foods, and the food should be varied from day to day. Adult turtles should be fed once a day, while younger turtles should be fed twice a day.

Prepared Foods

In addition to commercial foods, ornate box turtles can also be fed prepared foods. These include cooked vegetables, fruits, and cooked meat. All cooked foods should be well-cooked, and all fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed before being given to the turtle.

Gut-loading Insects

Gut-loading is a technique that should be used when feeding insects to ornate box turtles. This involves feeding the insects a nutritious diet before they are fed to the turtles. This will ensure that the turtles are getting the proper nutrition from the insects they are consuming.


Supplements can also be given to ornate box turtles to ensure that they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. A calcium supplement should be given regularly, and a multivitamin can be given once a week.

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Feeding Tips

When feeding ornate box turtles, it is important to follow a few tips to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition. Turtles should not be overfed, and they should not be given food that is too big for them to eat. All food should be well-washed before being given to the turtle, and any uneaten food should be removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Ornate Box Turtles Eat?

Ornate box turtles are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal foods. Their diet consists of a variety of items including insects, snails, slugs, worms, berries, and leaves.

In the wild, ornate box turtles will forage for food, eating whatever is readily available. They are opportunistic eaters and will consume almost anything that is edible. In captivity, it is important to feed them a varied diet to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition. A diet of commercial turtle food, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, is recommended. It is also important to feed them live insects such as crickets or mealworms as they provide essential protein.

What Do Ornate Box Turtles Eat? 2

Ornate box turtles are omnivorous reptiles that can be found in many parts of the United States. They are known for their bright yellow and orange markings and for their long life span. As far as diet goes, ornate box turtles eat a variety of things, from plants to insects to small vertebrates like frogs and mice. With the proper diet, ornate box turtles can live for up to 50 years in captivity. With the right care and nutrition, these amazing reptiles can provide years of enjoyment and companionship.

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