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Reptile Rapture,
6308 Monona dr., Monona WI 53516

608-221-0094, www.reptilerapture.net


Common Names: Asian Box Turtle
Scientific Name: genus Cuora (several different species)
Origin: Southeast Asia
Size: 5"-7" (some species larger)
Lifespan: 40-60 years

You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.

Wild-caught Asian Box Turtles are becoming more rare and some species are endangered but captive breed animals are still hard to find. However try to purchase captive-bred turtles.

The Asian Box Turtle is semi-aquatic and enjoys having access to water.  Like all box turtles, they like to move around. For adults kept indoors, the larger the enclosure the better, a minimum size of 2" x 4". But it is important to let your turtle out to explore in your home. They don't like being cooped up.

Because Asian Box Turtles will want to burrow, you should line the enclosure with a good loose substrate mixture of 2 parts Zoo Med eco earth and 1 part Exo Terra natural sand, at least 4" to 5" deep or deeper for adults. Keep it clean by spot cleaning whenever they go to the bathroom.

Provide a hide, plants, and other cover. Slabs of bark, hollow logs, or the like for them to take shelter in.

You'll want to keep your ambient enclosure temperature around 75 degrees with night time temperature drop only down to 70 degrees. A basking spot of 85-90 degrees should also be provided at one end of the enclosure. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure.

They will need a UVB light to help properly process calcium and to synthesize vitamin D3. Since they are not out in natural sunlight in our homes, we must provide UVB light in the form of a special fluorescent bulb designed to produce UVB rays. The best bulbs are the mercury vapors such as Exo Terra's Solar Glo bulbs, ZooMed's Powersun, or Solar bright bulbs. These bulbs provide heat and UVB all in one bulb. You can also use separate basking (heat) bulb and UVB bulbs. If you use these, you will want the Zoo Med 5.0 or Exo Terra UVB 100 variety.


Moisture is vital to Asian Box Turtles that are kept in captivity. They can become sick if it's too dry in their enclosure. They also do like to soak and swim, so provide a sturdy water tray that they can get in and out of easily. They often drink and defecate at the same time, so it's really important to change the water daily. Shallow Exo Terra bowls or the Zoo Med repti ramp both work well. In addition, mist your turtles enclosure every day to keep the substrate damp.

You will want to soak babies in a shallow bowl of room temperature water every morning for approx. 15 mins. to help them stay hydrated.

Asian Box Turtles are omnivores and require a balanced diet. They do eat some plants--broadleaf weeds and a variety of dark leafy greens. The occasional fruit and vegetable too. They love earthworms, mealworms,  hornworms, waxworms, and crickets.

You can top off your greens with Repashy bluey buffet or zilla dried vegetable mix. Make sure to coat your turtle's worms with calcium (with D3) and the greens with calcium and vitamins mix such as Repashy Superveggie.

Asian Box Turtles are gentle and friendly. Unlike some other turtles, they do not usually bite. This solitary species is most comfortable if housed individually. They are fun to watch, though it can be stressful for them if handled too much. After they get to know you they will follow you around, liking to be near to you, though they would still prefer not to be picked up or handled a lot.