Golden Greek Tortoises
- nesting & egg laying, p.1 -
This looks like a mating pair of Golden Greek tortoises, but it's actually two females. The aggressive female is acting just like a mating male, even her mouth is open. She laid her eggs a day or two later, and immediately calmed down.
Aggression before nesting
Several days before nesting, a gravid female Golden Greek tortoise can become quite restless and aggressive. She may ram, mount and push other tortoises in her enclosure. Both males and females can be her targets. If you didn't know for sure she's a female, you might think she's a he. :O)
This pre-nesting aggression can be more severe if the enclosure is small. It's best to remove the other tortoises, especially indoors where space is limited, to allow the gravid female to nest and lay her eggs in peace. If she cannot find a suitable place to lay her eggs, she can become eggbound.
Indoor nesting photos
Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) digging her nest indoors. This substrate is organic garden soil.
About to scoop out more soil with her right back leg.
Sudden thickening of the tail is a sure sign that an egg is about to be laid.
The tip of the egg is already visible.
There's the first one!
She will then shuffle the egg into the right position before laying the next one.
After she's laid the eggs, she will carefully fill in and cover the nest.
She laid 3 eggs. Day 2 of incubation.
Outdoor nesting photos
Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) digging her nest outdoors.
Suddenly, her tail got very thick. The egg's coming!
There it is! The egg's in the nest.
Related page: For more nesting photos, see the Golden Greek tortoise nesting page 2.