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Golden Greek Tortoises

- nesting & egg laying, p.1 -

two female Golden Greek tortoises

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 digging a nest in an indoor nestbox

Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) digging her nest indoors. This substrate is organic garden soil.

Golden Greek tortoise digging a nest

About to scoop out more soil with her right back leg.

Golden Greek tortoise laying an egg

Sudden thickening of the tail is a sure sign that an egg is about to be laid.

Golden Greek tortoise laying an egg

The tip of the egg is already visible.

Golden Greek tortoise just laid an egg

There's the first one!

Golden Greek tortoise laying eggs

She will then shuffle the egg into the right position before laying the next one.

Golden Greek tortoise covering her nest

After she's laid the eggs, she will carefully fill in and cover the nest.

Golden Greek tortoise egg 1 day of incubation

She laid 3 eggs. Day 2 of incubation.

Outdoor nesting photos

Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) digging her nest outdoors

Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) digging her nest outdoors.

Golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris) laying an egg

Suddenly, her tail got very thick. The egg's coming!

Golden Greek tortoise laying eggs

There it is! The egg's in the nest.

 

Related page: For more nesting photos, see the Golden Greek tortoise nesting page 2.

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