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Indotestudo Photo Thread

Discussion in 'Elongated and Forsten's tortoises' started by SarahChelonoidis, Sep 28, 2015.

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  1. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Nice. Thank you very much. I have a few questions.

    I've read conflicting advice about humidity and moisture of substrate. What makes sense to me is high humidity, damp substrate, and a layer of mulch so that they aren't constantly wet. Do you agree with that?

    Second, do you suggest basking areas? It seems some do and some don't.

    Lastly, along the same lines, where do you suggest placement of outdoor pens? (Full sun, dappled sun, morning sun, etc)
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  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Are babies and juveniles this combative too? In other words can babies be raised together until they reach maturity?

    I had to separate all my male SA leopards from the females at about a year and a half old, and then all the males had to be separated from each other a few months after that. The females have never been a problem. Is it similar? Or am I getting into something completely different with elongated or forstens? I've seen russian females that won't tolerate other females, and I had one sulcata female that was a killer. I'd love to hear more insight in to this aspect so that appropriate housing can be planned.
  3. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    How many are you working with now? Have you bred any at this point?
  4. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    I recommend high humidity and only very slightly damp substrate consisting of mulch and peat moss. They are prone to fungal infections of the shell and plastron when they are hatchlings and I have never observed a case of pyramiding in this species.

    I don't create actual basking areas, per say, but there is always an open spot in which they can bask if they choose. They do enjoy basking, but typically only in the evening sunlight. They will emerge very early in the morning to forage, stay hidden for the majority of the day, and then will bask in the evening and late afternoon sun. I frequently observe mine basking while still laying halfway inside their hiding areas.

    I find that they really prefer morning and late afternoon sun. They tolerate high daytime temperatures rather well, but they will stay hidden. I would definitely stay away from full sun. They are most comfortable with a very heavily planted enclosure but as mentioned earlier, with open areas in which they can soak up some sun.

    Hope that helps!
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  5. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    I will say that the elongata are not nearly as aggressive as forstenii; however, the aggression of forstenii is like nothing I have ever seen. Even hatchlings will attack and kill each other but usually they can be kept together for about 6 months or so. I have not gone farther than housing a pair of hatchlings together though. I know others who kept them in groups and many were killed. If I left my 2 year olds together for more than 5 minutes, I would be dealing with serious injuries or even death within that short of time together. They ram each other repeatedly and go for the neck when they bite. It seems that females have the tendency to be the most aggressive but it really does depend on the individual. So to answer your first question, the hatchlings definitely cannot be kept together until maturity. Maybe the first 6 months, but after that they will likely start nonstop combative behavior.
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  6. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    Currently I have a 2.3 group consisting of three bloodlines but plan to acquire more as soon as I am completely settled in my new home. They have a couple years before they begin breeding. I have also worked with mature breeding adults at another facility.
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  7. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you very much. They sound relatively similar in care to redfoots.
  8. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    They are pretty similar except their substrate is not kept quite as wet. No problem! Any more questions always welcome.
  9. richosullivan

    richosullivan Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Similar to what @MichaelaW said, i have had success with mine in an area with a small window of solid sunlight, but mostly spotty sun light coming through a canopy. I set her up under a liveoak (which will drop its leaves 2 - 3 times a year and i collect and throw into a couple corners). I have a 2nd canopy in the enclosure itself with some bamboo, dwarf fig, african iris and a few other plants (she loves to dig slightly down just under the roots of the iris which is where I find her on especially hot days - I dropped a weather gauge down in there and the temps were between 12-15 degrees cooler than full sun areas, and the humidity about 20% higher at the hottest temp/ lowest humidity point of the day).

    When I started the enclosure, I put down a layer of oak leaves on top of grass, and then add either the bamboo clippings or bigger leaves off of my sea grape and/or fiddle leaf fig (both have good size leaves that provide a natural umbrella when we have heavier rain). Depending on temps and humidity, she digs down to various depths and levels of wetness - some areas are more exposed to the rain and stay damp, while other areas are relatively dry - it's pretty cool to go out at various times and temps to see what micro-climate she has buried herself in.

    When she comes out for her early evening stroll, when she hits a pocket of direct sun, she'll stop for a minute or 2, and then as the sun spot moves off of her, she carries on searching for food.
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  10. richosullivan

    richosullivan Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Here is a couple photos of her under her leaves:

    20170824_083729_resized.jpg 2017-08-16 13.01.08_resized.jpg
  11. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    Attached Files:

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  12. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Well, I bought some elongata. :) Three hatchlings from three separate bloodlines. Figure I'll start small since they aren't too hard to come by. They'll be sent some time within the next two weeks. Have to figure out a day that works. Have been reading all I can get my hands on about them. Will start a thread about them when I begin construction of habitat.

    Going to keep looking for forstenii too. The NA studbook keeper is keeping an eye out for me as well. Hopefully will end up with a breeding group of each species in a handful of years.

    Thanks for all of the help everyone.
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  13. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! Unfortunately, forstenii can be hard to come across as CBB, but they're out there. Keep us updated!
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  14. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Got em!

    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1505842288.250504.jpg

    I've got a new thread up in the elongata/forstenii section.
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  15. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Very beautiful.
    [​IMG]
  16. no one

    no one Guest

    It is the eyes why they don't like the sun so much. That's why they forage in the morning and the evening. To much sunlight hurts there eyes.
  17. richosullivan

    richosullivan Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Popping out for a drink.

    20170908_155812_resized_1.jpg 20170908_160104_resized.jpg
  18. KevinGG

    KevinGG Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  19. PA2019

    PA2019 Active Member

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  20. richosullivan

    richosullivan Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks, the moss provides another layer of coverage, but still lets enough sun through for a handful of basking spots throughout the day.
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