Why is my Russian so dark?

SweetGreekTorts

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Russians can vary with their coloring. Some have more black, others have more yellow. It's completely normal.

I have a very dark Russian yearling, and a "high blonde" male adult Russian. IMG_20190201_093605.jpeg 20190906_110712.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

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I'm not real well versed in the differences among the Horsefield subspecies, but the coloration may have something to do with being a different sub species. It also has to do with how much outside time they get or got as youngsters. Plus, as they age they tend to get lighter in color.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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I'm not real well versed in the differences among the Horsefield subspecies, but the coloration may have something to do with being a different sub species. It also has to do with how much outside time they get or got as youngsters. Plus, as they age they tend to get lighter in color.
In literature, there are 3 subspecies of the Russian Tortoise:

1. Testudo horsfieldii horsfieldii (from North Central Asia).
2. Testudo horsfieldii kazachstanica (from Southern and South Western Turkmenistan).
3. Testudo horsfieldii rustamovi (from Southern Central Asia).

However, these subspecies are not recognized by all taxonomists, so very little is known. The Russian Tortoise is plucked in mass numbers from the wild quickly and often to export around the world, and nobody cares to track the exact location of where each one was taken. When they are being sold, they are all simply "Testudo Horsfieldii."
 
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