Star Tortoise Garden @
Star Tortoise Garden @

Golden Greek Incubation

Incubating golden Greek eggs

Incubation conditions for golden Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca ssp) eggs vary somewhat among breeders. Here are some examples of published incubation temperatures and humidity levels.

1.) Douglas Dix (Breeding Golden Greek tortoises,, 2009)

Eggs are placed in sealed plastic food trays and incubated at 86 °F (30 °C) on HatchRite cut with 20% dry perlite and 5% activated charcoal. To hatch mostly males, drop the temperature to about 82 °F (27.8 °C). For females, raise the incubation temperature to 90-92 °F (32.2-33.3 °C). Eggs hatch in 65-75 days.

2.) Mario Herz (Maurische Landschildkroeten, 2013)

Testudo graeca terrestris eggs were incubated on sand at 28-30 °C (82.4-86 °F).

3.) David S. Lee, Mike Lowe (Health, husbandry, and captive breeding of Golden Greek tortoises,, 2007)

Eggs were incubated on dry vermiculite at 85-87 °F (29.4-30.6 °C) with 60-80% air humidity. Eggs were slightly misted on the 40th and 65th day. Incubation lasted 65-76 days.

4.) Jerry G. Walls (Ask The Breeder: Golden Rules, Reptiles magazine, July 2004)

Incubation temperature of 86 °F (30 °C) will produce both sexes. Eggs incubated at 81 °F (27.2 °C) will develop into males only, while 92 °F (33.3 °C) will produce only females.

golden Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchling

Beautiful, freshly hatched golden Mesopotamian Greek tortoise baby.

Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchling

This new Mesopotamian Greek baby is darker and more orange colored.

Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchling

Such a cutie. Notice the egg tooth (sharp tip on beak) he used to break the egg.

Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchlng

Once the babies pip, I move them into separate small tubs inside the incubator. I line the tubs with wet paper towels and roll one up to stabilize the egg. I do not remove babies from their eggs. I let them come out themselves. They know when they are ready for the world. :O)

Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchlng

He broke the egg, but then decided to stay inside longer.

Incubating Greek tortoise eggs

Here are some examples of published incubation methods for Greek tortoises (Testudo graeca).

1.) Lance Jepson, MA VetMB CBiol MI Biol MRCVS (Mediterranean Tortoises, 2006)

Incubation periods for Testudo graeca are listed as 75-80 days for 25-26 °C (77-78.8 °F) and 56-63 days for 30-31 °C (86-87.8 °F). Recommended humidity level is 70-80%. Temperatures of 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) tend to produce more males and 31-35 °C (87.8-95 °F) more females. Higher incubation temperatures, especially above 90 °F (32.2 °C), are more likely to introduce birth defects.

2.) Gunther Koehler (Incubation of Reptile Eggs, 2004)

European Testudo species' eggs are placed about 1/3 deep on slightly moist sand or perlite and incubated at 28-32 °C (82.4-89.6 °F). Below 30 °C (86 °F), most hatchlings will be males, while temperatures above 31°C (87.8 °F) produce more females. Humidity should be 65-70%. Still air incubators are recommended. Incubation lasts 60-80 days.

3.) Ed Pirog (Tortoises: A Comprehensive Guide to Russian Tortoises, Leopard Tortoises, and More, 2012)

North African and Western Mediterranean Testudo graeca can be incubated at 80.5-88 °F (26.9-31.1 °C). Babies typically hatch in 60-80 days.

4.) Brian Pursall (Mediterranean Tortoises, 1994)

Incubation temperature for Mediterranean species should be between 26 °C (79 °F) and 34 °C (93 °F). Humidity should no be less than 50% and should not go over 95% for longer than 15 minutes.

Related pages: golden Greek egg development, hatchlings and incubators

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