What type of Hingeback do I have? Help please

Zilli

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Mar 7, 2022
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Hampshire, UK
Hello Hingeback and all Tortoise community!

I have recently acquired a very cute Hingeback, we have named her Zilli. I was told that she was a male and about 2 years old but I feel she might be a little older but the age is of any huge concern, what i would really like to know categorically is what type of hingeback she is and also is she a she? From the bits of research online watching videos and reading I feel with her very flat underside and not having any of the edges of her shell flaring out that she is female. Although.. her tail does seem long but only having the one and nothing to compare that too other than images online Im not certain.

My biggest concern is type so I can be sure to give her the temp and humidity that she needs as well as any alterations in diet that might better suit her type.
I thought for a while that she was a Spekes, now I'm just not certain, Homes, Bells? She has 5 toes on her front legs so I know that eliminates one type (can't remember which one) but any help and if more photos, measurements are needed that would help please let me know.

Really appreciate any help with this and apologies as a noob to the tortoise family for the lack of knowledge.

Thanks
Rob
 

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TheLastGreen

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Hi and welcome! I'm inclined to say that you do have a speke's hingeback. Let's ask @William Lee Kohler and @2turtletom
The kinixys blueprint is a good starting point, care advice is by the end of it
If the plastron (bottom part of the shell) is flat I'm sure your tort is a she
 
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Zilli

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Mar 7, 2022
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Hampshire, UK
Hi and welcome! I'm inclined to say that you do have a speke's hingeback. Let's ask @William Lee Kohler and @2turtletom
The kinixys blueprint is a good starting point, care advice is by the end of it
Hey TheLastGreen!
Thank you for such a swift response, I will look at that now and also keen to know what others think. I have actually watched a lot of Toms YouTube videos which have been very helpful.

Additionally, I have this screenshot that might give an idea of gender, maybe? Is this tail long or short? it's not a great pic but hopefully enough pixels to tell.

Thanks again!
 

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TheLastGreen

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Hey TheLastGreen!
Thank you for such a swift response, I will look at that now and also keen to know what others think. I have actually watched a lot of Toms YouTube videos which have been very helpful.

Additionally, I have this screenshot that might give an idea of gender, maybe? Is this tail long or short? it's not a great pic but hopefully enough pixels to tell.

Thanks again!
It seems like the tail is large, so it may be male, intresting, hopefuly others chime in soon
If I may ask, where did you get the tort from?
(Your tort is a cute bugger!)
 

Zilli

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Yes she (if a she) is a cute one and was probably how she ended up being a pet for my niece. I'm sure her Dad and her alike thought it was a great idea at the time but for a 13 year old the real responsibility of caring for a reptile and especially an exotix tortoise can be challenging. She was probably purchased from a local pet store to them and I was asked if I would like to take her as they know I have had a lot of various pets growing up and I am passionate about wildlife, additionally and unlike my much younger selfI have the means to properly care for any animals i keep. So I kinda rescued her from family, totally unexpected but very happy to have her and I want to be sure she is happy too.
 

Zilli

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Yes she (if a she) is a cute one and was probably how she ended up being a pet for my niece. I'm sure her Dad and her alike thought it was a great idea at the time but for a 13 year old the real responsibility of caring for a reptile and especially an exotix tortoise can be challenging. She was probably purchased from a local pet store to them and I was asked if I would like to take her as they know I have had a lot of various pets growing up and I am passionate about wildlife, additionally and unlike my much younger selfI have the means to properly care for any animals i keep. So I kinda rescued her from family, totally unexpected but very happy to have her and I want to be sure she is happy too.
It seems like the tail is large, so it may be male, intresting, hopefuly others chime in soon
If I may ask, where did you get the tort from?
(Your tort is a cute bugger!)
Yes she (if a she) is a cute one and was probably how she ended up being a pet for my niece. I'm sure her Dad and her alike thought it was a great idea at the time but for a 13 year old the real responsibility of caring for a reptile and especially an exotix tortoise can be challenging. She was probably purchased from a local pet store to them and I was asked if I would like to take her as they know I have had a lot of various pets growing up and I am passionate about wildlife, additionally and unlike my much younger selfI have the means to properly care for any animals i keep. So I kinda rescued her from family, totally unexpected but very happy to have her and I want to be sure she is happy too.
Hey @TheLastGreen , just continuing where we left off, I think she is a Spekii after looking at that Blueprint doc, it's good to know and thanks for sharing. Also I think she is actually a he, I have taken a couple of photos recently that might help with confirming the Spekii ID and from the look of the tail I think it probably is a boy.
Maybe it's Zilla and not Zilli lol.

Thanks again
 

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zovick

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Hey @TheLastGreen , just continuing where we left off, I think she is a Spekii after looking at that Blueprint doc, it's good to know and thanks for sharing. Also I think she is actually a he, I have taken a couple of photos recently that might help with confirming the Spekii ID and from the look of the tail I think it probably is a boy.
Maybe it's Zilla and not Zilli lol.

Thanks again
That is a male tortoise, going by the tail size and shape. The plastron may still be flat because it is not yet fully mature.
 

Zilli

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Hey Zovick,

Thank you for helping to confirm that, appreciate it.

Also the flat underside, would that indicate a rough age? He should be anything from 2 to 3 years old, does that sound about right? When does the plastron mature and get concaved?

Apologies for the additional questions but any additional help and knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again
Rob
 

William Lee Kohler

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Looking at magnified pic of the plastron I'd have to say this one is likely a few years older than 2 and may be fully mature as well as being a boy.
 

Zilli

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Hey William!
Thanks for the reply, I do wonder how long some of these pet stores have tortoise or other animals for but try passing them off as much younger than they are. Out of curiosity and the want to learn more, what makes you say he is older from the plastron, the number of rings?
Thanks
 

Sarah2020

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Enjoy your tortoise empty food dish and soaking in water are 2 positive things to see in the initial pics. I agree a he and enjoy him.

Over time you may find plant base dishes easier for his size. I use terracotta for food as it helps keep beak trim and a plastic base for water.
 

Thomas tortoise

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Wow! That tortoise is lovely. By the way Just in case you want another verification to make absolute sure. Then yes it is a speke Hingeback.
 

Zilli

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Enjoy your tortoise empty food dish and soaking in water are 2 positive things to see in the initial pics. I agree a he and enjoy him.

Over time you may find plant base dishes easier for his size. I use terracotta for food as it helps keep beak trim and a plastic base for water.
Thank you Sarah!
 

Zilli

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Wow! That tortoise is lovely. By the way Just in case you want another verification to make absolute sure. Then yes it is a speke Hingeback.
Hey Thomas, thank you! It is really good to know and appreciate the confirmation on route of hingeback. Thanks!
 

William Lee Kohler

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Hey William!
Thanks for the reply, I do wonder how long some of these pet stores have tortoise or other animals for but try passing them off as much younger than they are. Out of curiosity and the want to learn more, what makes you say he is older from the plastron, the number of rings?
Thanks
the small spot in the scute they were born with has no rings. Moving outward rings develop with each growth spurt. These rings are usually NOT directly related to a years growth so can't count them as a years growth. Several growth spurts may happen in a year or if things are bad only a very narrow ring or none at all. High spots and around edges of the plastron it wears smooth over time, one indication of "some" aging USUALLY. Another is the center seam in the plastron running front to back. I've noticed as many turtles and tortoises age this tends to develop zigs, zags and squiggles deviating from a straight line. Your tortoise has this developing on his shell. While I suspect your tortoise is not over 10 years old I think he's likely at least 5 or so years old so somewhere in between these 2 numbers. Unless a shell is worn pretty smooth and not much or any sign of growth rings age is kind of a guess with a bit of experienced intuition added in. Even then it's guessing. There are some of us that really like older tortoises so for us its a big plus🥰.
 

Zilli

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Ahhh yes, I see the zig zag developing down the center good to know. It is a shame that little Zilli has been passed off as a much younger tortoise but that changes nothing for me, still an absolutely fascinating a loved member of the family. Thanks for the info William!
cheers!
 

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