Not all of the Blue Jay Barrens Eastern Box Turtles are hanging around in the yard. I found this handsome turtle walking across the steep slope of the cedar forest.
The recent rains have caused worms and slugs to become more active near the surface of the soil and the turtles are on the prowl to take advantage of these tasty morsels.
Another result of the rain was the emergence of several species of fungi. This is some member of the Boletes family. I found the turtle not far away. I’m not sure if that particular turtle is responsible for the section of missing cap, but that’s quite likely to be the case.
Turtles leave a rather distinctive bite profile. If this were a crime scene, I could make some plaster casts and check against the turtle’s bite. It’s not uncommon for turtles to consume fungi. Turtles are quite opportunistic and will feed on just about anything they come across.
Open water can be hard to find in a normal year and is especially scarce during a drought. A moist fungus can go a long way towards supplying the turtle’s water needs.
The fungi are quite abundant. There’s no way that a few turtle meals are going to diminish the fungi’s ability to produce plenty of spores. A stem defect caused this fungus to topple and expose a mold advancing across the reproductive pores. Even a fungus can’t avoid being consumed by a fungus.