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Marginated Tortoise

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Species group:

Scientific name: Testudo marginata

The basics:
The Marginated Tortoise naturally inhabits a small range along the rocky hillsides and scrublands of the Greek coast and the nearby Aegean Islands.

Appearance / health:
A large Mediterranean tortoise, the Marginated Tortoise is very easy to identify with their extended rear marginal scutes that flare out. Their shell is highly domed and oval shaped when viewed from above. Each scute on the carapace is mostly dark olive-brown with a yellow center. Their tail and front legs is a pale cream color. Their plastron is very distinctive with a yellow base color and each scute having a dark cone shape design that points towards the tail. The males will have a more pinched waistline.

AVERAGE ADULT WEIGHT: Males and females: 4-7 lbs

AVERAGE ADULT SIZE: Females: 9-11 inches, Males 9 ½ - 12 inches

Behavior / temperament:
These are pleasant tortoises to have around. They adapt well and are considered a resilient species, great for the novice tortoise owner.

Housing:
Healthy adult Marginated Tortoises do best in housed outdoors in a large fenced area. The area should have soil or sand that drains well and be kept dry overall although they can tolerate some dampness. They will burrow into the ground for shelter. Your tortoise will appreciate rocks and logs to climb on or under and will help prevent their nails from over growing. A great benefit of housing outdoors is that you can plant their foods for natural grazing. They will need a shallow pond to drink from and soak in.

LIFESPAN: 30-40 years

TEMPERATURE/HUMIDITY: These tortoises are very tolerant to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Their natural climate has temperatures that range from 40° F to the 90’s F. They can do well with humidity up to 80%.

HIBERNATION / ESTIVATION: These tortoises do hibernate in the wild and will need a period of hibernation in captivity as well. In climates similar to their native habitat they can be kept year round outdoors. They will burrow into the ground to hibernate.

HEALTH CONCERNS: Marginated tortoises are relatively worry free if born in captivity and provided a proper diet and living environment. Most will only need a regular yearly check up. It is a good idea to have a fecal done at this time to check for internal parasites and salmonella.

Diet:
Their natural includes plant matter such as succulents and the occasional fallen fruit. Their captive pet diet needs to be plant based that is high in fiber and calcium but low in protein and fat. As a healthy pet diet for your Hermann’s Tortoise you can easily provide for their nutritional needs by planting a garden or buying leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables at the store. The majority of their diet should include fresh grasses and mixed greens that are high in calcium such as kale, clover, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and flowers. The other occasional part of their diet can include vegetables such as carrots, squashes, green beans, and papaya. Fresh water must be available at all times. Supplement with calcium carbonate regularly or provide cuttlebones.

Breeding:
They breed easily in captivity. They reach maturity at 7-9 years old.