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Golden Greek baby. This one's a Mesopotamian tortoise (Testudo graeca terrestris). Only a few hours old.
The Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) is also known as the Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise or Moorish tortoise.
The Testudo graeca subspecies list varies depending on the source and publication date. Below is the 2008 listing from the IUCN / SCC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. For the current classification, go here [offsite link].
- Testudo graeca (T.g.) - Spur-thighed tortoise, Greek tortoise, Moorish tortoise
- T.g. graeca Linnaeus, 1758 - Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise
- T.g. armeniaca Chkhikvadze and Bakradze, 1991 - Araxes tortoise, Armenian Greek tortoise
- T.g. buxtoni Boulenger, 1921 - Buxton’s tortoise
- T.g. cyrenaica Pieh and Perälä, 2002 - Cyrenaican Spur-thighed tortoise, Libyan Greek tortoise
- T.g. ibera Pallas, 1814 - Asia Minor tortoise, Ibera Greek tortoise
- (T.g. lamberti Pieh and Perälä, 2004 - later moved to T.g. marokkensis)
- T.g. marokkensis Pieh and Perälä, 2004 - Morocco tortoise
- T.g. nabeulensis Highfield, 1990 - Nabeul tortoise, Tunisian Spur-thighed tortoise
- T.g. soussensis Pieh, 2001 - Souss Valley tortoise
- T.g. terrestris Forsskål, 1775 - Mesopotamian tortoise (incl. T. terrestris, T. floweri, T.g. anamurensis, T. antakyensis)
- T.g. zarudnyi Nikolsky, 1896 - Iranian tortoise
The Greek tortoise aka Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) should not to be confused with the African Spurred tortoise (Centrochelys [Geochelone] sulcata). Sulcatas are one of the largest tortoise species. Adults can weigh over 150 lb!
In the U.S., the name Greek tortoise refers only to the Testudo graeca. However, in Europe the Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) can also be called a Greek tortoise (e.g. Griechische Landschildkröte in German). Greece is part of Hermann's tortoise's native range.
- very popular pet tortoises, the cold hardy Ibera Greek tortoise (T.g. ibera) is one of the best beginner tortoises
- from southern Europe, Middle East, North Africa
- live in semi arid and rocky areas
- Golden Greeks, aka Mesopotamian tortoises, are beautiful yellowish colored Greek tortoises native to hot and sandy locations in the eastern Mediterranean
- up to 5"-11"
- like to climb and dig
- active, friendly, hardy, adapt to new environments
- require similar care as Hermann's and Russian Tortoises
- should be kept outdoors whenever possible, at least during warm summer months
- large open top reptile tubs, like those by Vision or Waterland, or tortoise tables are best for short term, indoor winter housing for adults (if non hibernating)
- hibernate yes/no depending on native area
Captive bred Mesopotamian Greek tortoises.
Related page: Golden Greeks