What age is too old for a Mediterranean spur thigh to breed (male)


New Member
Aug 15, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Guildford, Surrey (UK)

I own a 58 year old Mediterranean spur thighed tortoise. I was wondering about what age would be the limit for one of these tortoises to breed/if there is a limit as I can’t find this information anywhere online. I would appreciate if someone could help me out with this as if he is an appropriate age I may consider breeding him.

Thanks :)

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Everything I've ever read about tortoises has said there's no such thing as 'old age.' The majority of tortoises die from something other than being old. Females can lay eggs right up until the time she dies (from something other than being old). And a male can fertilize eggs no matter how old he is.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Oct 26, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
There’s one thing being able to breed and quite another thing about what you can do with the offspring in the UK.

Your tortoise does not have the paperwork to prove he is captive bred because, like mine, he will have been a wild caught import back in the days before CITES when such things were allowed. You cannot sell him (you could gift him to a new carer) and you cannot register his offspring so you can sell them under UK law. Again you could gift them to new keepers. This is to stop people smuggling in wild caught individuals to breed from.

My elderly Greek male certainly has never thought he was past it. The reality is that his sex drive would mean that any female companion would be harassed constantly and would never get any peace. She would become withdrawn, stop eating and could become very sick indeed if not separated. Tortoises are loners. They roam for miles, meet up to mate and move on. They don’t live happily in pairs.

If you were to find a suitable female, you would have to keep her in quarantine, entirely separately from yours, for at least 6 months to ensure that neither makes he other sick. I would hen introduce her under supervision for mating to occur and then remove her and let her live in peace while she decides where and when to nest. She will need deep, dry sandy soil to lay into.