Favorite Turtle/Tortoise Morphs (If they even exist)

Celeeste

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Hello! I was recently thinking about corn snake morphs and started wondering if there were any turtle or tortoise morphs? If so, what is everyone’s favorite?

If you have examples, please post the pictures here!
 

ArmadilloPup

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In the turtle and tortoise world, there are variations of hypo (lacking color) and melanistic (darker). People favor hypo and put in a lot of work (and money) to breed albinos.

Most unique patterns and colors are natural and vary by region/subspecies. Some examples are cherryhead tortoises that have marbling, pardalis vs. babcocki leopard tortoises, and one of my favorites, the Golden Greek. In general, tortoises just aren't very flashy.

Box turtles are an exception - some of them are very striking.

Boxies patterns
 

ZenHerper

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Lots of people are working with turtle and tortoise morphs...wander through these listings to see this year's offerings:

This is a morph-dedicated turtle program (don't know them - not vouching for them):

Not sure what the extreme selection for color does to their health over time in general, or to their interaction with uvb radiation in specific.
 

MenagerieGrl

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In the turtle and tortoise world, there are variations of hypo (lacking color) and melanistic (darker). People favor hypo and put in a lot of work (and money) to breed albinos.

Most unique patterns and colors are natural and vary by region/subspecies. Some examples are cherryhead tortoises that have marbling, pardalis vs. babcocki leopard tortoises, and one of my favorites, the Golden Greek. In general, tortoises just aren't very flashy.

Box turtles are an exception - some of them are very striking.

View attachment 329128
OMG, aren't they So'ooo BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for that pict...
 

turtlesteve

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What I don't care for: Hybrids, albinos. There are a few turtle hybrids I've seen that are visually attractive, but producing them is either ethically questionable (for non-endangered species) or clearly unethical (for endangered species). In general, the tortoise hybrids I have seen look rather "meh". For example, the leopard/sulcata hybrids have a very washed out pattern, a large pure south african leopard looks MUCH better. Same with the redfoot / leopard hybrids. They have some red and a washed out shell pattern, but inferior in quality to either parent. And as far as albino or ivory, I simply don't find a pure white animal (or very light / faded colors) to be attractive. We are talking about animals that are clearly genetically defective or compromised, so why would we intentionally select for this? Ivory or amelanistic is better than albino, but not by much.

Middle ground: Hypo, pastel, melanistic "charcoal" morphs. I'm either indifferent or find them somewhat attractive.

What I prefer: Locality specific forms, unique natural color / pattern variations, and natural variation that is enhanced by selective breeding. As far as tortoises:
- Redfoots with very high red skin coverage
- Redfoot shell marbling that does not fade with age.
- Radiated or star tortoises that have high yellow and bold patterning.
- Locality-specific Hermanns and Greek tortoises, especially those with high contrast.

Steve



Hybrids are
 

Jan A

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What I don't care for: Hybrids, albinos. There are a few turtle hybrids I've seen that are visually attractive, but producing them is either ethically questionable (for non-endangered species) or clearly unethical (for endangered species). In general, the tortoise hybrids I have seen look rather "meh". For example, the leopard/sulcata hybrids have a very washed out pattern, a large pure south african leopard looks MUCH better. Same with the redfoot / leopard hybrids. They have some red and a washed out shell pattern, but inferior in quality to either parent. And as far as albino or ivory, I simply don't find a pure white animal (or very light / faded colors) to be attractive. We are talking about animals that are clearly genetically defective or compromised, so why would we intentionally select for this? Ivory or amelanistic is better than albino, but not by much.

Middle ground: Hypo, pastel, melanistic "charcoal" morphs. I'm either indifferent or find them somewhat attractive.

What I prefer: Locality specific forms, unique natural color / pattern variations, and natural variation that is enhanced by selective breeding. As far as tortoises:
- Redfoots with very high red skin coverage
- Redfoot shell marbling that does not fade with age.
- Radiated or star tortoises that have high yellow and bold patterning.
- Locality-specific Hermanns and Greek tortoises, especially those with high contrast.

Steve



Hybrids are
When we have so many unethical breeders who are in it for the money, not to save endangered species, I just don't get "hype" species or interbreeding different species. Do we really need to take on the ruse that we're buying something because someone else might beat me to it if I don't buy it? IF there was no market for morphs, they wouldn't exist except on the rare occasion.

Like what you will. I just like as little interference with nature & most of all human interference as possible. I realize I would not know anything about torts or have the opportunity to have a tort w/o human interference.
 

pacific chelonians

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What I don't care for: Hybrids, albinos. There are a few turtle hybrids I've seen that are visually attractive, but producing them is either ethically questionable (for non-endangered species) or clearly unethical (for endangered species). In general, the tortoise hybrids I have seen look rather "meh". For example, the leopard/sulcata hybrids have a very washed out pattern, a large pure south african leopard looks MUCH better. Same with the redfoot / leopard hybrids. They have some red and a washed out shell pattern, but inferior in quality to either parent. And as far as albino or ivory, I simply don't find a pure white animal (or very light / faded colors) to be attractive. We are talking about animals that are clearly genetically defective or compromised, so why would we intentionally select for this? Ivory or amelanistic is better than albino, but not by much.

Middle ground: Hypo, pastel, melanistic "charcoal" morphs. I'm either indifferent or find them somewhat attractive.

What I prefer: Locality specific forms, unique natural color / pattern variations, and natural variation that is enhanced by selective breeding. As far as tortoises:
- Redfoots with very high red skin coverage
- Redfoot shell marbling that does not fade with age.
- Radiated or star tortoises that have high yellow and bold patterning.
- Locality-specific Hermanns and Greek tortoises, especially those with high contrast.

Steve



Hybrids are
Here are 2 examples of leopard x sulcata hybrids I don’t feel like they look washed out
 

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turtlesteve

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Here are 2 examples of leopard x sulcata hybrids I don’t feel like they look washed out

They do to me, this is actually a perfect example of it. There is not a crisp definition between the dark and light pigment anymore. It’s trying to look like a leopard tortoise but falling well short.

Pure sulcatas look better too. To me the visual appeal of the species is that they look like prehistoric beasts. The most awesome looking sulcatas have wildly flared marginal scutes, gular horns, and humongous leg spines. The hybrids will never do this look well.

In any other field, for example plants, people make hybrids to get something new; e.g. a plant that can survive where neither parent will, or a flower color that neither parent plant can have. These hybrids have no purpose or benefits that I can see and they are aesthetically uglier than their parents.

Sorry I don’t get the craze. When I see someone selling hybrids at an elevated price, my only thought is “a fool and their money are soon parted…”
 

ArmadilloPup

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Yeah. Regardless of opinions on beauty, this is what I was going to say about OP mentioning snake morphs, but held my tongue (fingers?): certain snake morphs are linked to severe health issues. And in the horse world, having a mutation called "LETHAL white syndrome" doesn't stop people from trying to yield certain colors. And "doodles..." oh man, I don't dislike them, but they are so inconsistent in temper/hair type simply because they are a huge money grab for terrible breeders.

So I think it's a fact that natural is best for tortoises, and many of us don't want to see the pet industry ruin them.
 

pacific chelonians

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I would say if hybrid became more common and a more affordable option we would most likely not have as many sulcata and tortoises needing homes as they are sterile
 

Maddoggy

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Vero Beach Florida
Hello! I was recently thinking about corn snake morphs and started wondering if there were any turtle or tortoise morphs? If so, what is everyone’s favorite?

If you have examples, please post the pictures here!
I just came across this post I know its a little old but here are some sulcata color morphs. They are albino,ivory,super hypo green,and albino paradox.
 

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Thomas tortoise

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I know this is little off topic but.... I found out there is such thing as a redcata. Refoot, sulcata, hybrid. I mean I thought that was impossible but they mixed a small rainforest tortoises to a giant desert tortoise. Come on! Thats cruelty. And the worst thing about it is. They were keeping the hybrid in a dry desert enclosure! And this tortoise had serious pyramiding! I felt so sad for it that I wanted to buy it but I was not just about to pay a couple thousand dollars on a tortoise. (No offense to all ya who spend thousands of dollars on tortoises) 😂
 

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