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Angulate Tortoises

- egg incubation -

hatching Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise

Once the egg has a pip hole, I move it to a separate small container inside the incubator. I line the cup with wet paper towels and let the hatchling exit the egg on his own. After cracking the egg open, this Angulate baby decided to turn around and stay a bit longer inside the shell. He crawled out of the egg the following day.

Angulate egg incubation

Artificial incubation of Angulate / Angulated / Bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) eggs, especially outside their native land, has proven to be quite challenging. Many Angulate keepers share similar stories: a great number of eggs will not develop at all, a few will start developing and then stop, and even fewer will actually hatch.

Although I’ve been fortunate to hatch a small number of baby Angulates, I haven’t yet found the best method for incubating their eggs either. I've used a few different incubators, various substrates, different temperatures, and higher or lower humidity levels. I've also incubated eggs with and without cooling (diapause), and I've left some eggs in the ground as well. No modification seemed to improve the outcome. Maybe low fertility in parents due to (?) is a contributing factor.

Incubation methods

Incubation techniques for Angulate eggs vary among breeders. Some keepers cool the eggs before incubation while others don't. Some utilize a night time temperature drop and some don't. Those who lower the temperature for nights have found it to be beneficial.

Here are some examples of incubation temperatures and humidity levels breeders have used. For full details, please read the original publications.

1.) Bauer, Thomas (Turtles, Proceedings: International Turtle & Tortoise Symposium Vienna 2002, 2006)

2.) Caroldi, Luke (, 8/2011)

3.) Facebook (2014, 2017)

4.) Fleck, Jürgen & Susanne (Elaphe, 3/2001)

5.) Highfield, A.C. (Practical Encyclopedia of Keeping and Breeding Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, 1996)

6.) Jasser-Häger, Irmtraud & Philippen, Hans-Dieter (Testudo magazine, Schildkröten Interessengemeinschaft Schweiz,, 6/2003)

7.) Junek, Milos( 8.) Koehler, Gunther (Incubation of reptile eggs, 2004)

9.) Steehouder, Trudy (Lacerta 52/5)

10.) Sterantino, Dan (Chersina Angulata Working Group, Trevor Zoo, 4/2019)

11.) Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA journal, 8/2007)

12.) Wlach, Sven (Schildkröten im Fokus, 2/2008)

Angulate / Bowsprit Tortoise, Chersina angulata, pushing her egg

Angulate mama pushing her egg out. It's hard work and can take a long time because the egg is so big and the bony opening so small. When she pushes, her head goes all the way into her shell as you see above.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise, Chersina angulata laying an egg

Angulates lay only one, but large, egg at a time.

Angulate / Bowsprit tortoise, Chersina angulata, with her egg

Mama with her huge, freshly laid egg. After removing the egg, I let her fill the nest hole in peace.

Angulate tortoise hatching

Almost ready to come out of the egg.

Angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) hatchling

Brand new Angulate baby.

Web links


Related pages: Angulate nesting, egg development, hatchlings p.1, hatchlings p.2, and incubators

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