This is a prairie turtle, prefering treeless plains with grass and scattered low brush. Ranges from Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, and eastern Wyoming south to southwestern Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and into Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Mainly carnivorous with insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars making up some 90% of the diet. Dung beetles are a favorite food. Will take carrion and berries as well. In captivity, will eat more vegetable matter.