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1 June 2005 Facial Lesions in Turtles, Observations on Prevalence, Reoccurrence, and Multiple Origins
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We present the first report of aural abscesses in Ornate Box Turtles, Terrapene ornata, and of an epidermal inclusion cyst in Painted Turtles, Chrysemys picta. These observations were made in a mark-recapture study in eastern Iowa conducted over 25 yr. Detailed records of facial lesions in these species have been maintained for the last 12 yr. The prevalence of aural abscesses is lower than that reported for Eastern Box Turtles, Terrapene carolina. Aural abscesses tend to develop in Ornate Box Turtles at least 13 years old and are more common in females than males. The cysts sometimes spontaneously resolve but, in one instance, returned after being expelled in the field. In Ornate Box Turtles, they arise in the middle ear and displace the tympanum and its cartilaginous inner coat outward. Infection sometimes results in reactive bone formation with distortion of the cranium. A similar appearing lesion in a Painted Turtle arose in the skin covering the tympanum, and a second arose anterior to the ear. These were epidermal inclusion cysts and not abscessed.

James L. Christiansen, John M. Grzybowski, and Brian P. Rinner "Facial Lesions in Turtles, Observations on Prevalence, Reoccurrence, and Multiple Origins," Journal of Herpetology 39(2), 293-298, (1 June 2005).
Accepted: 1 January 2005; Published: 1 June 2005

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