Star Tortoise Garden @
Star Tortoise Garden @

Greek Tortoise Profile

Greek tortoise subspecies

The Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) is also known with the common names of the "Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise" and "Moorish tortoise." The subspecies list varies depending on the source and publication date. As of this writing in 2008, below is the Greek tortoise subspecies (ssp) listing from the IUCN / SCC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. For full classification, go the current checklist [offsite link].

Testudo graeca (T.g.) - spur-thighed tortoise, Greek tortoise, Moorish tortoise:

golden / Mesopotamian Greek tortoise hatchling

Greek tortoise baby. This one's a golden Greek / Mesopotamian tortoise and he's only a few hours old.

Confusing common names

Greek vs sulcata

The Greek tortoise aka "Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise" (Testudo graeca) should not to be confused with the "African spurred tortoise" (Centrochelys [Geochelone] sulcata) commonly known as the sulcata. Unlike small Greeks, sulcatas are very strong and very large tortoises. Some adults can weigh over 150 lb!

Greek in the US vs Europe

In the U.S., the name "Greek tortoise" refers only to the Testudo graeca, but in Europe the Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) can also be called a Greek tortoise (e.g. Griechische Landschildkröte in German). Probably because Greece is part of Hermann's tortoise's native range.

golden / Mesopotamian Greek tortoise adult

Sub-adult golden Greek / Mesopotamian tortoise hatched and raised by me. I love the spotted ones!

Quick Greek facts

Related page: Golden Greeks

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