Before we get going here, the Testudo Tortoise Graeca Species or greek tortoise is extremely similar to the Horsefield so be sure to add in your email above to get your care guide that sends the best industry information to your inbox for free!
The testudo tortoise graeca species or spur-thighed tortoise is also called a Greek tortoise. Its Latin and scientific name is Testudo graeca, which is how people will see it identified in some sources. There are five main Mediterranean tortoises, which are:
- Horsefield/Russian Tortoise
- Hermann’s Tortoise
- Greek Tortoise/ Spur-Thighed Tortoise
- Marginated Tortoise
- Egyptian Tortoise
And the Greek tortoise is one of the most famous examples. Greek tortoises can live for more than a century, which can make caring for them both particularly challenging and particularly rewarding. Many people enjoy caring for Greek tortoises as a result of their special behavior and their distinctive appearance.
Greek tortoises are popular tortoises, and potential pet owners will be able to get them from breeders, reptile expos, dealers, and various vendors. Many people want to purchase juvenile tortoises, which should usually be available all year. One important consideration when it comes to buying Greek tortoises is that some vendors will sell Greek tortoises that have been caught from the wild. These kinds of tortoises are significantly harder to care for than tortoises that have been hatched and raised in a captive and domesticated environment. Many pet owners may be buying their first tortoises, and tortoises are already much harder to care for than they initially appear. Pet owners should always confirm that the tortoises that they are about to purchase were raised in captivity.
When caring for their Greek tortoises, pet owners need to make sure that they’re getting enough calcium and fiber. While pet owners that have raised a wide range of animals may feel tempted to give their tortoises foods high in protein and fat, tortoises are herbivorous animals. While tortoises may eat the protein-rich and fatty foods that their owners give them, that doesn’t mean that these foods are good for them.
Many of the specific foods that Greek tortoises naturally eat are often classified as weeds. Dandelion, thistle, and clover are all good options for Greek tortoises. Dried versions of these kinds of weeds tend to be available throughout the year, which can help pet owners that live in shifting climates.
If pet owners need to rely on the typical store-bought vegetables for whatever reason, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens can suffice as long as they’re organic. Make sure to always keep a clean water bowl for them too. Greens that aren’t organic tend to have high levels of pesticide contamination. Still, pet owners should not rely on greens like these. Cuttlebone can be used to give Greek tortoises the calcium that they need. There are certain greens that are naturally higher in calcium that Greek tortoises can also eat, if there isn’t any cuttlebone available.
Greek tortoises are significantly smaller than many other tortoises, which is one reason that they are somewhat easier to keep and feed than some of their fellow tortoises. However, they still won’t be able to properly function in small areas. A large, outdoor tortoise pen is ideal for Greek tortoises. Tortoise owners will have access to varying amounts of space, or course, but the more space they can give their Greek tortoises, the better. Pet owners should locate these spaces in areas that get plenty of sunlight, since adequate light is important for tortoises. A tortoise table that’s three feet wide and six feet long can work for an indoor tortoise or a tortoise that needs to be kept indoors for part of the year.
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Greek tortoises usually start preparing for hibernation in the autumn months, and may stay that way throughout the early to mid winter months. Pet owners should provide special hibernation quarters for their tortoises. They should also bathe them and look them over after the tortoises have completed their hibernation for the year.
Care sheets on Greek tortoises will typically feature information about what to feed them, where to house them, how to care for them when they’re ill, and how to handle issues like hibernation and reproduction. There may be care sheets that are specifically dedicated to providing detailed information on tortoise reproduction, and other broad topics. Pet owners can search around for the care sheets that they need.
Many vendors and breeders can be good sources of information for pet owners that want to research Greek tortoises. There are plenty of books and websites dedicated to educating people about Greek tortoises as well. All pet owners should have their own veterinarians, who can also answer many of the questions that they may have.
Greek tortoises thrive in temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. People that keep their tortoises outdoors will have to keep an eye on local temperatures to make sure their tortoises are getting enough heat. Tortoises rely entirely on their external environments in order to regulate their body temperatures, which is why keeping them in the right environments is so important.
There are a number of different substrates that pet owners can use to provide in order to properly accommodate their Greek tortoises. Cyprus mulch is a popular type of substrate for a Greek tortoise. Plenty of other pet owners mix play sand and top soil together to create a substrate, where half of it is play sand and half of it is top soil. Aspen shavings are also commonly used as substrates for Greek tortoises.
Pet owners should keep away from certain substrate components. Pine and cedar shavings contain substances that are toxic to Greek tortoises. Rabbit pellets also don’t really work, since they are prone to getting moldy and don’t maintain adequate humidity levels for Greek tortoises.