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State Reptile: Turtle

Emblem: Eastern Box Turtle

by Steven Case, 2007.
NC Government & Heritage Library.

See also: Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern box turtle, image from NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The General Assembly of 1979 designated the turtle (Terrapene carolina) as the official State Reptile for North Carolina. (Session Laws, 1979, c. 154).

§ 145-9.  State reptile.

The turtle is adopted as the official State reptile of the State of North Carolina, and the eastern box turtle is designated as the emblem representing the turtles inhabiting North Carolina. (1979, c. 154, s. 1.)

More information about the Eastern Box Turtle is available in the Eastern Box Turtle article from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Additional Resources:

Associated Press. "Turtle wins final approval as state reptile." Wilmington Morning Star. March 17, 1979. 7-C. (accessed October 7, 2013).

Bond, Sharon. "Turtle Gets The Nod From State House." The Dispatch [Lexington, N.C.]. March 1, 1979. 12. (accessed October 7, 2013).

Harden, Leigh Anne. "Meet our State Reptile, the Eastern Box Turtle." North Carolina Herpetological Society. 2006. (accessed October 28, 2014).




How did or why did box turtles get the name "box"?



Take a look at this information on the Encyclopedia of Life about the box turtle: The "Description" section mentions why they have the common name, "box turtle."

I hope this helps!

Michelle Underhill, NC Government & Heritage Library


when did the box turtle become a symbol


Hi Rainbowdash,

The legislature designated the box turtle as the state reptile in 1979.  You'll see it above in the articles text.

Thanks for asking!

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


Need more info


you guys have to click the picture and then it gives you more facts.


I agree with whoever this person I'm talking to




Hello, the turtle has good Facts in all but Not enough. Can i have more facts...?


I have been doing a report but you guys don't have enough facts. Come on, ncpedia I know you can do better


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