The Indochinese Box Turtle is also called the Flower Back
Box Turtle, Flowered Box Turtle, Hundred Flower Box Turtle,
White-Fronted Box Turtle, or Three Hill Box Turtle. Its
scientific name is Cuora galbinifrons.
These turtles are fairly rare in the West, but are sometimes
sold in petshops. They come from the hills and mountains of
Viet Nam and China, around the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Flowered Box Turtle is so called because it has a very
striking shell pattern. It has a high domed back with a
narrow yellow stripe running down the mid-back. On each side
of the midline stripe are wide dark stripes, sometimes with
a mottled pattern. The rest of the shell is either white,
cream or yellow, with dark mottled areas. Males and females
look very much alike, but the male has a slightly thicker
This turtle likes water, but is not as aquatic as the other
Asian Box Turtles. It mostly lives in forest undergrowth in
mountainous woodlands. They are very shy, and thought to be
carnivorous in the wild.
This turtle is not for beginners. They are very easily
stressed, and need a quiet hideaway in a large, well
planted, high humidity vivarium, with a pool for drinking
and bathing, a cool area with litter for burying (misted
daily), a warm area with the requisite full-spectrum reptile
light, temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit,
and live food, or they may refuse to eat.
Flower-back Box Turtles often will eat some fruits and
vegetables, but the bulk of their diet should be earthworms,
crickets, baby mice, and the like, dusted with a quality
reptile calcium and vitamin D3 supplement. Some will eat
low-fat dog food, but keep that to small quantities.
As these are all tropical turtles, they do not hibernate and
must be kept indoors during cold weather. If it is too cool,
they will not eat. They also need more swimming water than
other box turtles, and are more carnivorous.
Please do your homework and plan well before choosing a
Flowered Box Turtle. They are beautiful, but also rare and
very endangered in their native habitats.