ID and healthcheck for adoptees please

deserttort

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Hi! Adopted this male & female pair last week (I was told they are Hermanns).

Previous owner only fed them lettuce. He’s had them for 2 years and says they’re 4 years old. They get a along very well (I know I know) and have been trying to mate.

Both are active with healthy behavior. It’s hot outside so they’re spending a lot of the day burrowed in topsoil. But very active when I put them in the lawn.

Would appreciate a quick healthcheck based on the photos during soaking.

Male (brown tub)
- about 6 inches shell
- smooth shell, great plastron, but there are these marks on his shell that I can’t identify.
Not shell rot, they almost look like residue from enamel, paint or something stuck on the shell. Previous owner said he’s always had those. What are these marks and can I get rid of them?

Female (purple tub)
- about 8 inches long shell
- I have a feeling she’s pyramiding but appreciate expert advice. Also, the tail end of the shell seems to be a lot flatter that I’ve seen on a tort

I know one can only do so much with pics but I appreciate an assessment. Thanks! A73537E1-3F0B-4E8B-A62B-E27F431D5165.jpeg C8C39100-A760-430A-A945-CACF354C72CD.jpeg
 

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deserttort

New Member
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Las Vegas
Undersides in case it helps
 

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TeamZissou

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Good looking torts! These are not Hermman's, they are definitely Greek tortoises. In terms of the subspecies, I would say they are Testudo graeca terrestris, or Mesopotamian tortoises. They have a few aspects that make them look a bit like Nabeul tortoises (T. g. nabuelensis subspecies) but ultimately the plastron pattern as well as size makes me go with terrestris.

It does look like paint in the picture. You could try dabbing a tiny bit of paint thinner on a q-tip and rubbing it on the white spot to see if any comes off. Don't use any more than you need, and wash the are immediately after. A mechanical method like a ScotchBrite pad might work as well. You could also just leave it alone. It does not look like shell fungus.

The pyramiding on the female isn't bad. There's also nothing you can do at this point. That said, they would do well in a densely planted outdoor enclosure that gets wet frequently via sprinklers to keep the humidity at least in the 50%+ range. The humidity will be higher in the planted area where the torts will hide.
 

deserttort

New Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas
Good looking torts! These are not Hermman's, they are definitely Greek tortoises. In terms of the subspecies, I would say they are Testudo graeca terrestris, or Mesopotamian tortoises. They have a few aspects that make them look a bit like Nabeul tortoises (T. g. nabuelensis subspecies) but ultimately the plastron pattern as well as size makes me go with terrestris.

It does look like paint in the picture. You could try dabbing a tiny bit of paint thinner on a q-tip and rubbing it on the white spot to see if any comes off. Don't use any more than you need, and wash the are immediately after. A mechanical method like a ScotchBrite pad might work as well. You could also just leave it alone. It does not look like shell fungus.

The pyramiding on the female isn't bad. There's also nothing you can do at this point. That said, they would do well in a densely planted outdoor enclosure that gets wet frequently via sprinklers to keep the humidity at least in the 50%+ range. The humidity will be higher in the planted area where the torts will hide.
Thanks so much!! Btw can you venture a guess on their age?
 

Yvonne G

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The female would probably be a much happier tortoise if you could separate the yard into two yards and give each tortoise his/her own space. They don't do well when kept in pairs.
 

deserttort

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The female would probably be a much happier tortoise if you could separate the yard into two yards and give each tortoise his/her own space. They don't do well when kept in pairs.
Interestingly I find that they always like to burrow and sleep right next to each other. Even though the enclosure is large enough for them to be separated. Any idea why's
 

TeamZissou

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Thanks so much!! Btw can you venture a guess on their age?

Age is always a tough one since they grow at different rates based on environmental conditions. What you were told by the seller seems reasonable. I'd guess they are not less than 4 years. Males are considered fully grown when they are in the 300-500 g range while females are 800-1000 g. If the female isn't up to this weight yet, she might not be mature enough to be able to pass eggs. This would be another reason to separate them aside from the usual recommendation against keeping them in pairs.
 

TeamZissou

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Interestingly I find that they always like to burrow and sleep right next to each other. Even though the enclosure is large enough for them to be separated. Any idea why's

Unfortunately what you're seeing is one of the classic signs of bullying. One of the torts will end up feeling stressed due to this behavior. Better to build them separate enclosures and only put them together for short periods of time for breeding.
 

Yvonne G

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Interestingly I find that they always like to burrow and sleep right next to each other. Even though the enclosure is large enough for them to be separated. Any idea why's
Because you're misinterpreting the signals. They're telling each other, "This is MY space. Get out!!"
 
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