Common name: Hermann's Tortoise

Scientific Name: Testudo hermanni

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Testudines

Suborder: Cryptodira

Family: Testudinidae

Genus: Testudo

Species: T. hermanni

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Testudo hermanni a.k.a Hermann’s Tortoise is an average of 20cm long. They have black and yellow carapaces which fade to a lighter color or to a grey with age. Testudo hermanni has adapted to humans in its native countries. They will wait for food to drop on the ground during summer barbeque months.

 

If no food drops they’ll actually bite humans to make them drop food. There are two subspecies that I know of for Testudo hermanni. They are Testudo hermanni hermanni and Testudo hermanni bogeterri. An identifying characteristic of the former is the absence of a wart on the back leg that is present in the latter. Another identifying characteristic is that males have thicker tails than females.

 

Hermann’s Tortoise will dig into loose soil to make a “house”. They will also fight each other over territory or females. Hermann’s Tortoises like humid, Mediterranean climates. That is why they inhabit areas like Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Testudo hermanni was threatened because they were eaten during World War Two.

 

Now they are threatened by habitat loss. Their population is growing because of housing efforts and strict pet trade laws. These housing efforts are mostly out of the country in their native habitat. I was not able to find information on how many are left in the world. Testudo hermanni is not the lowest or highest animals in the food web. They were eaten by us but they also eat insects like most amphibians.

 

When in captivity they have a diet of greens, strawberries, and melon. For food, they mostly compete with other tortoises. They have a strong bite and slightly aggressive nature to compete for food. Monks sometimes still eat this tortoise. To evade being eaten they use their coloration for camouflage to blend in with the grassy areas in which they inhabit. One thing that stood out in my research is the fact that their sex is determined by the temperature of their environment. I learned that Testudo hermanni behave like most reptiles.

 

Author: Nolan T.

Published: 02/2009

 

Sources: Allen, Katy Z., and Linda R. Berg. Holt California Life Science. Austin: Holt,Rinehart and Winston, 2007. "CTTC - Hermann's Tortoise, Testudo hermanni by Michael J. Connor." California Turtle and Tortoise Club, CTTC. 12 Feb. 2009 http://www.tortoise.org/archives/herman. "Hermann's tortoise - Testudo hermanni - Information - ARKive." ARKive - A unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species. 12 Feb. 2009 http://www.arkive.org/hermanns-tortoise/testudo-hermanni/info.html. "Hermann's tortoise - Testudo hermanni - Information - ARKive - threats and conservation." ARKive - A unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species. 12 Feb. 2009 http://www.arkive.org/hermanns-tortoise/testudo-hermanni/threats-and-conservation.html. Welcome to the EMPIRE OF THE TURTLE! 12 Feb. 2009 http://www.empireoftheturtle.com/testudo_hermanni. Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Testudo_hermanni_hermanni_Mallorca_02.jpg