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Tortoises

tortoise

Important legal note
An Article 10 certificate is needed for sale of Annexe A species
There are two types of Article 10 certificate. One type called a ‘Transaction Specific Certificate’ (TSC) that may only be used by the person named and from the address on it. The other type is called a ‘Specimen Specific Certificate’ (SSC), and may be used by anybody in possession of the specimen.
They must be microchipped once over 10cm long
Annexe A – T.graeca, T.hermani
Annexe B – T.horsefieldi

Spur-thighed (Greek) tortoise
- Testudo graeca
Several ‘races’ which experts can differentiate
Sub-species, T.g.graeca, ibera, terrestris, zarudnyi
Hinged plastron, Spurs on thighs
Dryer habitat, inland all around the Southern & Eastern Med.
Now introduced right round the Med

Hermann’s tortoiseTestudo hermanni,  two subspecies
Suggested that adults are flatter than graeca?
Yellower shell and darker markings
Supra-caudal scute usually divided 
Spur on tail tip, Plastron NOT hinged, No spurs on thighs
Cold hardy and tolerate damp (they live along the coast of the Northern Med)

Horsfield’s (Russian) tortoise Testudo horsfieldi
Considered it may even be in a different genus - Agrionemys
More circular, Stocky, Greenish/brown shell, Spur on tail tip (smaller than Hermanns), 4 toes on each foot (Greek and Hermanns have 5 on front)
Very climate tolerant, but some hibernate for long periods. Prefer dry environment
Males are aggressive and will bite – they ‘ram’ less than other species males so females are ? Less used to it!

General Keeping

  • Appropriate Temperature Range (ATR)
  • Most bask to achieve this
  • In the region 20-32oC
  • Inactive below 15oC

Heat from below is to be discouraged for tortoises, the gut is on the floor of the abdomnen in contact with the plastron and may be adversely affected

  • They naturally bask so heat lamps are best
  • Mount pads on the side
  • Must be thermostatically controlled

Hibernation

  • Hibernate if maintained at 5-10oC
  • Jackson ratio over 4.5
  • Don’t allow them to lose
  •    > 8-10% of body weight
  • Short hibernations are beneficial even for juveniles PROVIDED that this is in a proper temperature controlled hibernaculum

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