Russian Tortoise

$100.00
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We house these are a different property a few miles from us, and need to pick them up before they are shippable. They will typically ship the NEXT business day after the order (not same day like most tortoises are).
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  1. A wonderful, healthy, good tempered tortoise

    Posted by Unknown on 3rd Mar 2011

    I just have to say what an amazing animal I received. Despite cold weather on the East Coast (I had to wait for a night when it wasn't expected to dip below 20), our new tortoise arrived warm, well packed and none the worse for wear. After a week or two adjusting to his new home (he spent most of that time burrowed, only comimg out for food), he is now amazingly active and very social for a tortoise. He has a great shell and has obviously been well cared for before arriving in our home. If we ever decide to expand our reptile family, we will certainly order from you again.

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Description

Common Name: Russians Tortoise
Scientific Name: Agrionemys Horsfieldii
Current Size: 4-5"
Average Adult Size: 6-8" (females larger)
Area of Origin: Several countries between Eastern Europe and Western China

Description: Light brown and olive color with dark brown bands around each scute of the shell. These tortoises are probably the most "different" of the Testudo type tortoises. They are almost completely rounded when viewed from above, which probably is to help them spin around when underground in burrows. They tend to be somewhat flattened on top, without much of a "dome."

Habitat: Mediterranean tortoises, these animals live in grassy meadows and scrubland where they come and go from their burrows in order to maintain the ideal temperatures. They do hibernate naturally, and will hibernate in captivity if proper conditions are given. As adults, they can safely handle body temperatures as low as 35 degrees during hibernation, and on cold spring, summer or fall months, they will retreat underground to maintain some warmth. Summer highs up to 110 degrees can be tolerated as long as there is a cooler, underground retreat the tortoise can get into. In hot climates, they will spend much of the summer days in burrows or simply buried under an inch or two of earth. They can dig in and bury themselves in a matter of minutes, and will often do it several times a day in soft sandy substrates. 

Diet: This tortoise is naturally a browser, eating broadleaf weeds and low leaves from bushes and shrubs. In captivity, Russian tortoises will graze on leafy weeds, dandelion, clover, and most other leafy greens provided to them. Vegetables can be added to the diet for variety, but fruit should generally be avoided or given as no more than 5-10% of the diet. 

Adult Behavior: Adult Russian tortoises are active, busy tortoises when the temperatures are in their ideal ranges (55-90 degrees). They are usually un-aggressive towards eachother in most cases, and can be kept in small groups. The mating habits can create some problems as males will occasionally bite at the females to subdue them, and sometimes will ram at each other to establish dominance through the ranks. Most will eagerly come to their keepers looking for food once they are comfortable in their environments, and they will pile on top of each other in order to get at the food first. They are good climbers and will make attempts to escape, so perimeter fences should be buried at least 6-12" underground, and sidewalls 12-16" above ground will normally contain them. 

Note: These adult Russians tortoises are originally wild caught and imported. Because of this, they have some minor dings and scratches in their shells and aren't all cosmetically perfect. There will be no major problems (no missing toes, no missing eyes, etc). We have run them through a preventative round of de-worming, but they should still be quarantined from existing collections until they are more well established in captivity.

For more detailed information, Click Here to see the article we prepared for Reptiles Magazine.