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Turtles/Female turtle wanting mate

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Question
My female box turtle keeps mounting my male turtle as if she wants mate with him, have even had to break them apart, no mistake in the sexes. Im pretty sure she's a she and he is a he. Just curious as to what this means. The male shows no interest in wanting to return the favor.

Answer
Hi,

It's not uncommon for females to display this kind of behavior when they're gravid, or it could be some territorial aggression.  Two box turtles need quite a bit of room, so if they're crowded, that could encourage some agressive behavior.  You didn't say how you had them housed, but I'm assuming you have them indoors since they're not hibernating.  In most areas of the US, box turtles do really well in outdoor pens, and it's generally advisable to have them outdoors when possible.  If you can post back with more information, I might be able to give you a better idea, but as it is, those are my two best guesses (presuming you have them sexed correctly).  If the female is gravid, she's probably close to laying.  If you see other behavior from her--restlessness, pacing, lack of appetite--make sure she has a place to dig a nest.  It should be soil or similar, packable, and at least as deep as she is long.  Good luck!

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Jeannie

Expertise

Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.

Experience

I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

Education/Credentials
My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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