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Pregnant Hermann?

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by Oli Geneva, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    We have 2 Hermann tortoises that are approx 4 - 5 years old. We tried to get them sexed last November but were told that they were still too young. From recent behaviour (biting legs and mating - they did not do this last year) we assume we have 1 male and 1 female (the female being larger) so I have some questions:
    -Will a male Hermann only mate with a female or can it mistake a male for a female?
    -What are the chances of a 4-5 Hermann becoming pregnant?
    -Once a Hermann is pregnant, will the male stop trying to mate?
    -How can you tell when a female is pregnant?
    -How long after mating will the female normally lay her eggs?
    -What happens if we don't provide a suitable nesting area at the right time?
    Many thanks
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  2. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the TFO. Other more knowledgeable people will be getting back with you soon. My best advice though is to immediately separate them even if you have to use corrugated cardboard and duct tape. Since one is biting the other you could end up with an emergency vet visit. They can and will hurt each other really bad. Best wishes for your situation.
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  3. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

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    @HermanniChris works closely with the Hermann's and breeds them, and he can provide more insight.

    For now, I would recommend keeping them separated until you've done some more research and can prepare to responsibly breed this species. You'll need more females to build a breeding group for your male.
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  4. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Active Member

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    Tried to have them sexed? If they are mature you can post photos here and several of us will be able to tell male from female. If they are not mature, there’s no easy way to tell. In my experience male tortoises have a very strong sex drive and will mount anything at any time of year. There is of course variation among species. Point being, the male won’t care if the female is already gravid (gravid is the term for a “pregnant” reptile). And as mentioned- if they are being kept as just a pair they should be separated. When tortoises are kept as a pair one is able to be the dominate the other. This is incredibly stressful for the lesser tortoise.
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  5. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback Cathie G, SweetGreekTorts and wccmog10. I have separated them at least temporarily and will now work on a more permanent solution; we anyway don't want to breed tortoises. Attached are some photos in case anyone can help to confirm if they are male/female. For now both have flat underside so I haven't taken a photo of that. The indoor photos are of the one we assume is female, the outdoor photos the one we assume is male (the one biting and mounting the other). The tails of both look the same to me.

    2019-07-21 10.06.12.jpg 2019-07-21 10.06.19.jpg 2019-07-21 11.24.38.jpg 2019-07-21 11.24.57.jpg
    2019-07-21 10.06.12.jpg 2019-07-21 10.06.19.jpg 2019-07-21 11.24.38.jpg 2019-07-21 11.24.57.jpg
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  6. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Something I saw online many years ago said you probably do have have a male and female. This article said that the male has a vent that looks like a straight screwdriver and the female like a phillips. But please don't take my word for it. Wait until a more experienced member gives you the advice you need. Also the female could be attacking the male. It just depends on the animals which one is the aggressor. Hang in there.
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  7. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Thank you. When I look at them, if anything I'd say the straight and Phillips screwdrivers are the other way round to my current assumption! :)
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  8. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Well...don't be scarred for life If he shows you everything...that's how I found out. I'm still laughing about that day 12 years later.
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  9. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    You appear to have 2 males.
    If you place them both on their backs next to each other it will give a clearer view as it’s not just the tail that determines this.
    They should be separated in this case because while male combat is necessary and healthy for a breeding group, it is an unnecessary stress for two lone males.
  10. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Thank you, I'll take a picture of them together in the next 2 days.At least if they're both male we don't need to worry about incubating eggs!
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  11. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Hi HermanniChris. Here's a photo of them together on their backs. If you're able to determine their sex that would be amazing please. I'm pretty sure the smaller one is male as this is the one who's been biting and trying to mate the other one. Many thanks! 20190723_203045.jpg
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  12. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    Thank you. 100% both males. No doubt about it.
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  13. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Thank you SO much! Bizarre though that a male will try to mate with a male ;-)
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  14. Sleppo

    Sleppo Active Member

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    It's not mating behavior its a territorial/dominance thing, you'll need to separate ASAP. Good luck!
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  15. Oli Geneva

    Oli Geneva New Member

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    Thank you. They are already separated but only a week ago, if I'd known I'd have done it sooner
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  16. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Just watch male dogs! It is hilarious, but needs to be seprated
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  17. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a female doing that to a male and I don't blame her after what I saw...I'd beat the tar out of him too...lol but we are human. We need companions. They don't. I still have to make myself remember that fact after 12 years. So don't feel bad. Best wishes for a great outcome for both of your little ones.
    Oli Geneva likes this.
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