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Identify Species

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#1 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 02:31 PM

Hi! Im from Ireland, and over here we dont really have many tortoises ad there are no societies for their protection! I was wondering if someone could help me identify the species of the tortoise I bought if I email a picture of him to them. Im pretty positive hes a hermann but the petshop man had No Idea. PLEASE help! I could do with knowing, and I have lots of other questions! Mogli and I need a mentor! :(

#2 Guest_Joanne666_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 03:22 PM

Hi there,

Post me your pic on JoanneNUFC666@aol.com and I'll get it ID'd for you

#3 Guest_Honey_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 03:57 PM

Yes I will ID it for you. Need pics of the rear end showing tail, underneath, from above and the side. Are there no regulations in Ireland which state that Mediterranean torts need CITES papers? Sorry not up on Irish law

#4 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 10:47 AM

Im not sure if it is even legal in Ireland. I never checked. I probably should have. I really fell in love with him in the store, and they seemed to be in such a small space so I decided to take him. he looked so sad.. It cost me 170Euro... Which is a lot, but as I understand it, its not bad for a tortoise?

He is about 2 and a half inches....how old should that make him? I will send on the pictures as soon as I can! Thanks to both of you!

#5 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 10:49 AM

By the way.. which part of the tortoise is the carpace? I want to weigh him etc but Im not sure exactly where to measure him. I have been keeping turtles happily for years but this is all a little new to me.....I should know where the carpace is.... is it the bottom of the shell?

#6 Guest_Joanne666_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:03 AM

Yes you measure the underneath, its called the plastron. It can be misleading as you are asked for the 'straight carapace' length, the carapace being the top of the shell, but straight carapace length is measured by the plaston.
Hope this helps and I havent confused you more

#7 Guest_Honey_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 04:28 PM

I will now confuse you even more The plastron length is often significantly shorter (or sometimes longer in a deformed tortoise) than the straight carapace length. To obtain this put your tortoise on a flat surface ie the floor or work surface, push him up to the wall with head in and mark the floor at the furthest point - this is the straight carapace length. :-)

#8 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:49 PM

I took Plenty of Pictures of Mogli Just now, and I am going to give Links at the end of this post.
I measured the bottom of his shell. It was 6cm
The top of the shell, from the tail to the beginning of his neck, was 7cm.
How old should he be? Roughly.. I guess that makes him about 2 to 2 1/2 inches?

I sat him on some kitchen roll, just so he could be seen better in the pictures, and he pooed there. he was probably terrified, poor thing. Which brings me to another question- what colour should his stools be. It was chalky white, and accomanied with clear fluid.
(sorry if this all sounds crude, but Im sure its important.)

Heyyy How come he gets a shell?

#9 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:56 PM

Hi! Finally have those photographs. I hope you can all help. I presume its a relatively common breed as Nothing else would end up in ireland.I just want to make sure for care sheets etc..
So what is she/he?

#10 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:28 PM

I posted loadsa replies with pictures.. where are they? I cant see them.. do theyu go through a moderator or something?

#11 Guest_nina_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:51 PM


It sure looks like a Russian Tort to me (female!) - Latin name Testudo Horsfieldii. She's cute:)
About her stools - you mean pee right? Pee is clear fluid with a bit of white in it. Perfectly normal. They tend to pee when they're scared. Mine did in the beginning but now they know me well enough not to get scared when I pick them up.
Poo should be brownish and look, well, like poo pretty much. Can't miss it. It should be firm, not runny or slimy.
Good luck with your little one



#12 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:02 PM

A russian? Cool. I was guessing hermann but then I dont really know because Ive never seen others myself aside from in pictures. Yeah must have been his pee then. I havent found any stools, but he is living in dry bark so its probably being buried and thrown away with the bark.

So if he is a russian tortoise is his climate different from a mediterranean tortoise.. I mean.. its colder in russia? (If Im totally wrong here, Im sorry, I just am not very worldly i guess!) Would he prefer sand or soil to live on?

#13 Guest_Honey_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:11 PM

It is indeed a horsfield tortoise. The thing to remember with these little guys is that they tend to eat far too much if given a chance. In their native habitat they only eat for around three months of the year - the rest is spent in either hibernation or aestivation to get away from extremes of temps.If, therefore you feed it as much asit will eat throughout the year it will grow very deformed and die at a very early age. Only telling you this so you know in advance. This littel guy has far too much new growth already so you need to slow things down for him to have a decent future. They are a burrowing species and should not be kept on bark, being given a deep substrate of sand/soil or hemp bedding. Outdoors they can burrow up to nine feet and so need any outdoor enclsoure to be lined with netting at a depth of around a foot to allow them to burrow but not escape. They do not grow well indoors and need to be outside as soon as possible. Diet is the same as for any Med species but limited strictly.
This is just for starters :7

#14 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:18 PM

Oh dear.. thank you for all of your help throughout the boards honey, much appreciated!
A horsfields? I hadnt even heard of of that kind.. are a horsfield and a russian the same thing with different names, or is horsfield different. He/she is meditteranean yes?

Yeah, he seems to be eating all around him. he can eat so much I was scared there was something wrong with him. does that mean I should feed him tiny bits every day, or skip days? how much should he be eating per day? for example 3 to 4 dandeloin leaves, or much less or more?

About the outdoor enclosures.. I have read up on the tortoises.net way of building an enclosure, and It looks great, and I intend to do it, but where does the heating mat fit in.. how do I heat the tortoise so that he is warm. You reccomend that he goes outdoors straight away? Is he big enough? Should he be on a tabletop type enclosure outside? how do I keep him Warm?

Thanks! I understand if you are too busy for all my questions! thanks!


#15 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:13 PM

Sorry but for some reason I seem to have to reply to posts in order to be able to see the full list of posts..I cant see any button to move onto a new page or anything.. well when I click the send buton the whole page will show..but still..

#16 Guest_Mogli_*

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 01:54 PM

can somebody help me with my previous question, as to how to keep him warm outdoors... Its very cold here! Heating mat/bulb/ or what?

#17 Guest_nina_*

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 03:51 PM


I know about it being a problem keeping them outdoors because of the poor weather. I'm from Denmark and it's far too cold here as well - most days. I have an enclosure outside that I use when the weather is nice and sunny. On bad days they stay inside. The best thing for your tort is to spend as much time outside as possible (natural sunlight and all these things), if you can build an enclosure with a little house in it and install some heating lamps to keep it warm when it's a bit chilly then it would be perfect.

About Mogli's diet: don't feed him too much! That's what I did and then my baby torts started growing alarmingly fast! Only a few weeds a day (dandelion, clover ect), and add some calcium and vitamin D3 to his diet. You can order that stuff on the tortoise trust's website in the Carapace Press section. The slower he grows the healthier he'll be - without any deformities. Just greens in moderation. He may look hungry....but don't be fooled and don't give in because they can just keep on eating, and it's just no good.

Anyways, have a look at the tortoise trust's website. You'll find everything you need there. It's great!



#18 Guest_thebloomfields2002_*

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 03:55 PM

Hi Rosie,
Sorry no one seems to have answered your question.
I am no expert but have taken lots of advice from the experts. I use a 250watt (pig lamp) outside which is set on a timer and comes on for about 3 hours in the morning, once the torts have warmed up they seem very happy to come out of their little shed and go off in search of food. the temperature needs to be about 80/85.
You say it is very cold but I find that my horsfields go back to bed when it gets too warm.
Hope this is of some use
Shell x

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