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Terrapene carolina (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaEmydidae, Emydinae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles) 
SubspeciesTerrapene carolina bauri TAYLOR 1895
Terrapene carolina carolina (LINNAEUS 1758)
Terrapene carolina major (AGASSIZ 1857)
Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857) 
Common Namesbauri: Florida Box Turtle
carolina: Eastern Box Turtle
major: Gulf Coast Box Turtle
E: Three-toed box turtle
G: Carolina-Dosenschildkröte
triunguis: Three-toed Box Turtle
mexicana: Mexican Box Turtle
yucatana: Yucatan Box Turtle 
SynonymTestudo carolina LINNAEUS 1758: 198
Testudo caroliniana DAUDIN 1802 (ex errore)
Terrapene carolina — BELL 1825
Emys tritentaculata ST. HILAIRE 1829 (nomen nudum) in CUVIER
Testudo irregulata DAUDIN 1831 (nomen nudum) in GRAY in GRIFFITH
Cistudo carolina — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 210
Cistudo Carolina — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 224
Cistudo carolina — GRAY 1864: 106
Cistudo virginiana — BRÜHL 1880
Testudo virginiana — BRÜHL 1877
Cistudo carolina — BOULENGER 1889
Terrapene carolina — KÖHLER 2000: 23

Terrapene carolina carolina (LINNAEUS 1758)
Testudo carinata LINNAEUS 1758: 198
Testudo brevi-caudata LACÉPÈDE 1788 (nom. subst. pro T. carol. LINNAEUS)
Testudo incarcerata BONNATERRE 1789
Testudo incarcerato-striata BONNATERRE 1789
Testudo clausa GMELIN 1789
Testudo virgulata LATREILLE 1801
Emys schneideri SCHWEIGGER 1812
Monoclida kentukensis RAFINESQUE 1822
Cistuda clausa — SAY 1824: 205
Terrapene maculata BELL 1825
Terrapene nebulosa BELL 1825
Emys kinosternoides GRAY 1831: 32
Emys Cinosternoides — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 303
Cistudo virginea AGASSIZ 1857: 445
Cistudo eurypygia COPE 1870:124
Terrapene clausa — SOWERBY 1872
Cistudo carolina var. cinosternoides — BOULENGER 1889
Cistudo carolina — BOULENGER 1895: 331
Cistudo cinosternoides — BOULENGER 1895: 331
Terrapene carolina carolina — STEJNEGER & BARBOUR 1917
Terrapene carolina carolina — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 52
Terrapene carolina carolina — CROTHER 2000
Terrapene carolina carolina — RHODIN et al. 2010

Terrapene carolina bauri TAYLOR 1895
Terrapene bauri TAYLOR 1895
Terrapene carolina bauri — CARR 1940
Terrapene carolina bauri — MILSTEAD 1969
Terrapene carolina bauri — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 53
Terrapene carolina bauri — CROTHER 2000
Terrapene carolina bauri — RHODIN et al. 2010
Terrapene baurii — CROTHER et al. 2012
Terrapene carolina bauri — TTWG 2012
Terrapene baurii — MAYS et al. 2017
Terrapene carolina bauri — TTWG 2017: 36 (undecided)
Terrapene baurii — CROTHER et al. 2017

Terrapene carolina major (AGASSIZ 1857)
Cistudo major AGASSIZ 1857
Cistudo carolina var. major — BOULENGER 1889
Cistudo major — BOULENGER 1895: 330
Terrapene major — ALLEN 1932
Terrapene carolina major — CARR 1940
Terrapene carolina major — MILSTEAD 1969
Terrapene carolina major — CROTHER 2000
Terrapene carolina major — RHODIN et al. 2010
Terrapene carolina major — RHODIN et al. 2017

Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857)
Cistudo triunguis AGASSIZ 1857
Cistudo carolina var. cinosternoides — BOULENGER 1889 (partim)
Terrapene carolina triunguis — STRECKER 1910
Terrapene whitneyi HAY 1916:8
Terrapene triunguis — BURT 1935
Terrapene carolina triunguis — MILSTEAD 1969
Terrapene carolina triunguis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 53
Terrapene carolina triunguis — BARTLETT & BARTLETT 1999: 297
Terrapene carolina triunguis — CROTHER 2000
Terrapene carolina triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2010
Terrapene mexicana triunguis — MARTIN et al. 2013
Terrapene carolina triunguis — SPINKS et al. 2016
Terrapene carolina triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided)
Terrapene mexicana triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided)
Terrapene triunguis — RHODIN et al. 2017: 80 (undecided) 
DistributionUSA (S Maine, S New Hampshire, SE New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, S Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, E Kansas, E Oklahoma, C/E Texas)
Mexico (San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Veracruz)

Has been introduced to the Mariana Islands (Guam) in the Pacific Ocean (LEVER 2003): 21), and New Mexico (Stuart et al. 2018).

bauri: Florida; Type locality: “Florida;” restricted to “Orlando, Florida” [Orange County] by Schmidt (1953:94).

carolina: Canada (S Ontario), Mexico (Campeche, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán), USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michi- gan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia)

major: USA (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi); Type locality: “Mobile [Alabama] ... Florida”, restricted to Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama by Schmidt, 1953: 94.

triunguis: USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas); Type locality: “Louisiana and Mississippi . . . New Orleans . . . Osage River . . . and from Georgia.” Restricted to “New Orleans, Louisiana,” by Schmidt (1953:94).

Type locality: “Carolina”

Elevation: 0-1663 m (Chan et al. 2016)  
TypesSyntype: MCZ R-184564
Syntypes: USNM 86871 (formerly MCZ 1519, MCZ 1519, 1522–1525) (alcoholic adult female, CL 119 mm), New Orleans, Louisiana, collected by N. B. Benedict, date unknown, cataloged 6 Dec 1932 (see also Reynolds et al. 2007); USNM 86872 (formerly MCZ 1519) (alcoholic adult female, CL 114 mm), locality, collector, and catalog date as for USNM 86871 (see Reynolds et al. 2007) [triunguis]
Holotype: USNM 8352 (alcoholic adult female, CL 137 mm), collected by F. B. Meek, 1875. Syntype: MCZ R-1508 [bauri]
Syntypes: MCZ 1505,1507,1509-1510 (females), 1506 (male), 1508 (juvenile, probably male) [major] 
CommentSubspecies: following Martin et al. (2013) who removed Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857), T. c. mexicana (GRAY 1849), and T. c. yucatana (BOULENGER 1895) and assign them to T. mexicana. Spinks et al. 2016 suggested to synonymize mexicana with T. c. triunguis without commenting on the priority issue. Martin et al. (2013) suggested elevating a clade consisting of triunguis, mexicana, and yucatana to a distinct species: Terrapene mexicana ssp. (Martin et al. 2013). This was rejected by Fritz & Havaš 2014. We follow TTWG 2017 who considered both Terrapene carolina mexicana and Terrapene mexicana as valid names (same for yucatana and triunguis).

Hybridization: Terrapene carolina triunguis (AGASSIZ 1857) and Terrapene ornata ornata (AGASSIZ 1857) may hybridize in Texas (Lutterschmidt et al. 2007). Butler et al. (2011) showed that T. c. major does not possess a diagnosable morphology and provide evidence that major resulted from introgression between eastern extant (predominantly T. c. carolina) and an extinct subspecies, T. c. putnami. Hybridization of the box turtles Terrapene carolina and T. ornata has been reported throughout their sympatric range (Cureton et al. 2011).

Distribution: for a range map of carolina, bauri, major, triunguis, ornata, and luteola, see Martin et al. 2013. Not listed for San Luis Potosí by Lemos-Espinal & Dixon 2013. Not in Campeche, Yucatan, or Quintana Roo, Mexico fide GONZÁLEZ-SÁNCHEZ et al. 2017.

Type species: Testudo clausa GMELIN 1789 is the type species of the genus Terrapene MERREM 1820 (STEJNEGER 1902).

Habitat: terrestrial (usually in forests) 
EtymologyEtymology (genus): A number of references (Nason 1866; Gotch 1986; Ernst and McBreen 1991) state that terrapin or Terrapene is derived from an American Indian or Canadian Indian Algonquin word (Algonquins were First Nations peoples of Ontario and Québec, but also included people ranging south to Virginia). However, the words mikinák (general name for tortoise or turtle) and posikato (land turtle) are Eastern Algonquin words for turtles, which obviously bear no resemblance to terrapin. According to Siebert (1975), the word terrapin was derived from the Powhatan word “torope”, Eastern Algonquin for a variety of turtle, or derivatives thereof. Later derivations were provided by Beverley (1705: 14, as tarapin), Lawson (1709: 133, as terebins, of which he noted both land and water types), and Brickell (1737: plate after p. 134 and pp. 138–139, as terebin). Thus, it is likely that the word torope was incorporated into English by early New World Virginia colonists to mean a turtle, or more specifically, a land turtle. See Dodd et al. 2016 for more details.

species: named after its occurence in the “Carolinas”, North and South Carolina.

bauri: The name bauri is a patronym honoring Dr. Georg Baur, “who first noted the peculiarities of the type.” 
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  • Roe, John H.; Kristoffer H. Wild, and Zachary R. Lunn 2018. Inter- and Intra-population Variation in Habitat Selection for a Forest-dwelling Terrestrial Turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina Herp. Cons. Biol. 13 (3): 711–725 - get paper here
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  • Stewart, Aiden E., Jennifer Schoolcraft and Michael S. Finkler. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Terrapene carolina carolina (woodland box turtle). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 567 - get paper here
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