Reptiles/baby box turtle


Hi, we have a baby box turtle who we think is approx a mth old. He seems to be eating well now. He eats worms fruits veggies as well as the reptile sticks. He is kept in a 20 gallon aquarium under the uva/uva heat lamp. We soak him in tepid water once or twice a day which he seems to love. We keep the humidity in the tank at around 40-50% which is what the pet store advised. My concern however is that he hides most of the time and only comes out when we put him in to soak or feed him then he returns to his hiding spots. He's not always asleep as we can see his eyes open but is it normal for him to hide most of the time like this? Thx in advance for your time !

Hi Amanda,

He sounds fine and your care is excellent. He is doing exactly what his instincts tell him to do in order to survive and that is to stay out of sight!

Baby reptiles are common and easy prey for many other animals in the wild so they instinctively hide. They are often more nervous, skittish and even aggressive then their adult counterparts as well although that is far more notable in snakes and lizards then turtles.

He will calm down, stay in the open and become more social as he matures. Turtles are quite intelligent and quickly learn that humans are a food source. All of my turtles and tortoises, including a three toed box turtle, start moving toward me whenever they see me.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]