Tunisian tortoise

Tunisian tortoise

Tunisian tortoise, Nabeul tortoise

SUBSPECIES OF

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SPECIES
Testudo graeca nabeulensis

The Tunisian tortoise or Nabeul tortoise (Testudo graeca nabeulensis ) is a subspecies of Greek tortoises. It was originally described as a new species in 1990, and even placed in a distinct genus. The spur-thighed or "Greek" tortoises are usually collectively referred to as Testudo graeca, but this covers a wide variety of subspecies that have very different ecological and morphological characteristics and appear to comprise at least three phylogenetic lineages. As its name implies, it is found in Tunisia and nearby Algeria.

Geography

Habits and Lifestyle

The Tunisian tortoise is a relatively small tortoise. The adult males usually have carapaces that seldom exceed 13 cm (about 4.5 in), whilst the adult females' carapaces are no more than 16.5 cm (some 6.5 in) long. The geographically closest population of the T. graeca group, from Morocco, is decidedly larger.

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These tortoises are among the most brightly colored taxa of the spur-thighed or Greek tortoise complex, with a light yellow carapace with strong black markings in the scute centers. The plastron also has a bold color pattern. On the top of the head, right between the eyes, is a distinct yellowish spot.

Tunisian tortoises are popular as pets due to their attractive coloration and small size. They are a bit more delicate than their larger relatives, though their care is not particularly difficult, they are not ideal pets for those who have no experience at all in keeping tortoises. Coming from tropical semiarid habitat, they do not hibernate, and an attempt to have them do so will cause a fatality. This does actually make their care easier for people in warmer regions, but in temperate climates, they require a well-heated and amply lit terrarium even in winter.

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Diet and Nutrition

Population

References

1. Tunisian tortoise Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisian_tortoise

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