Voting is over. Nebraska's official state reptile is...

An ornate box turtle

The ornate box turtle is poised to become Nebraska’s official state reptile.

The turtle won in a public poll conducted over the last several months by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Officials with the commission now plan to work with the State Legislature to make the designation permanent.

The turtle received 5,109 votes out of a total of 13,608 cast, according to the commission.

The common snapping turtle came in second with 2,597 votes, followed by the bullsnake (2,186), the western hognose snake (1,429), the six-lined racerunner lizard (1,333) and the prairie lizard (946).

The six candidates were meant to represent an array of reptiles across the state, said Lindsay Rogers, wildlife education specialist with the Game and Parks Commission.

The ornate box turtle is Nebraska’s only terrestrial native turtle, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Natural Resources.

The turtles, brown to black with bright yellow markings, are found across much of the state, living in short, mixed and tallgrass prairies. They are omnivores, feeding on succulent plants, worms, dung beetles and small vertebrates.

If the state makes it official, Nebraska will share its state reptile with Kansas, which adopted the ornate box turtle as its state reptile in 1986.

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