Jordanian Greek Tortoise (Breeding Females)

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Description

Common Name: Greek Tortoise
Scientific Name: Testudo Graeca Sp.
Current Size: 6"+
Average Adult Size: 6-9" (females larger)
Area of Origin: Jordan

Description: Bright yellowish tan color with none or minimal black patches in the center of most scutes of the shell. There is typically a darker brown or black perimeter around the front edges of the scutes, with less in the rear end of the individual scutes. They are a high domed tortoise, and like most Greek tortoises, they maintain a "glossy" looking shell through life. As babies, these Greek tortoises look very similar to baby Hermanns tortoises with a much lighter yellow overall color. This subspecies of Greek tortoise has a straw yellow color to the head and arms. 

Habitat: Mediterranean tortoises, these animals live in sandy desert areas where they come and go from their burrows in order to maintain the ideal temperatures. There is some debate whether this type of Greek tortoise hibernates naturally, although it will in captivity and seems to help in the reproduction efforts if they are allowed to hibernate. 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. 

Diet: This tortoise is naturally a browser, eating broadleaf weeds and low leaves from bushes and shrubs. In captivity, Hermanns tortoises will graze on leafy weeds, dandelion, clover, and most other leafy greens provided to them. As babies, we focus more on feeding them a wide mix of leafy greens (spring mix). 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 Greek tortoises are active, busy tortoises when the temperatures are in their ideal ranges (60-90 degrees). They are un-aggressive towards eachother in most cases, and can be kept in groups. The mating habits can create some problems as 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. They can be 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. 

These tortoises were originally wild caught, imported in April 2011. They have been with us since, and are producing babies in our enclosures. We are short on males, but making a few females available to build funds for a similar project.