Hermann's tortoise
- Testudo hermanni

The Hermann's tortoise You can live up 70 years. This should be taken into account when buying a young animal: ¿quién se quedará con mi animal entonces?
Mediterranean turtle
Testudo hermanni boettgeri – Wikimedia



The Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) has a wide distribution area. It is located in eastern Spain, the south of France, the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Southern and Central Italy (Tuscany). The eastern population (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) is located in Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Turquía y Grecia, while the (Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis) populates the coasts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro.

Características y descripción

Turtles Testudo hermanni boettgeri grow to 25 cm.. The Testudo hermanni hermanni comes to measure between 15 and 18 cm and is still quite small relative to the other species.

In general, the Hermann's tortoise is a small or medium-sized turtle. The ventral shell de los animales es rígido tanto en los machos como en las hembras. The dorsal shell has a good curvature. A bird's eye view, the Hermann's tortoise appears oval.

Una característica distintiva de estas tortugas es el escudo de la cola dividido. The color yellow-olive background and black spots on shields distinguish animals. When they are young, the spots can be compared to a “keyhole”. However, marks decline over the years and are barely recognizable as such in old age. Their Paws they have five claws and fairly large scales. En la parte trasera, there are only four claws. To distinguish well the Hermann's tortoise of the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), note the absence of the horn cone between the tail and hind legs.

Mediterranean turtle
Testudo hermanni hermanni in Mallorca – Orchi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Características sexuales

Males and females have a nail. At the age of four to six years the sexual characteristics of animals are formed. Los machos adultos tienen una raíz de cola mucho más gruesa. What's more, males develop a very pronounced nail when they are older. El caparazón ventral cóncavo es una de las mejores características para distinguir los sexos. Females are heavier than males and also larger. The cloaca of females is closer to the body and the abdominal shell is flat.

Growth of animals

The Hermann's tortoise grows quite linearly during the first six years. Gana aproximadamente un centímetro por año de longitud de caparazón. However, after six years growth slows down a bit. The animals then grow around a 30% per year compared to the previous ones. I.e., only 60 a 70 mm. From the tenth to the twelfth year, animals win between a 5 and 15% of growth and weight. The older the animals are, less noticeable the growth of its size. Also the weight almost does not increase. If you feed too much, the animal can also grow much faster. However, this can lead to obesity and organ damage. What's more, the shell becomes very developed with humps.

Weight of the “Hermann's tortoise”

Such a turtle, when you have grown up, weighs between 950 and 1100 g.. Animals of up to 1800 g., which however are not too heavy, but they also seem to be somewhat larger. Differences always occur in nature and in captivity and are not a cause for concern. Just animals too much “fat” usually stop being healthy and have weakened organs.

Until the first autumn, the Hermann's tortoise earns approximately the 100% of your birth weight. Animals that were born with 16 g and weigh 32 g in autumn. Especially in the first three months the weight gain is very high, but it also depends on the food available in the outdoor enclosure. For the second autumn, another one is added 50% of the previous weight. Y así es como se desarrolla el aumento de peso durante los primeros cinco o seis años. Then, it is increasingly reduced until the animals are fully adult.


The preferred habitats of the Hermann's tortoise are sunny and dry. However, también vive en zonas ligeramente húmedas, for example, in areas of open forest, forest edges, dune landscapes with lots of vegetation, but especially in scrub landscapes such as the “maquis” wave “garrigue”. Incluso en los huertos o en los márgenes de las tierras agrícolas, you can always find these turtles.

The "Hermann's tortoise" in captivity

The Hermann's tortoise is one of the most popular of those kept in captivity. They are also one of the turtles about which more information can be found in the literature and the media.. Unfortunately, this also creates big problems. Turtles are sometimes given away on birthdays. Recipients often have no knowledge about animals and, sometimes, the conditions of tenure are completely wrong.


The Hermann's tortoise is a turtle that stays outdoors all year round, where it also goes into hibernation once a year. One terrarium it has no place in the possession of these animals at all or only serves as a “quarantine” for sick animals waiting to be cured and are immediately returned to the wild.

Young animals of the first three years must have a greenhouse de un metro cuadrado como mínimo y, abroad, other 2 or 3 square meters. More space is very laudable, but it's also complicated. Always watch young animals and if the area is too large, animals will be buried in too many places where they cannot be found. Esto hace que sea difícil, for example, lock them in the greenhouse At night.

Temperature and humidity

Los animales jóvenes viven en un entorno bastante húmedo. The substrate debe rociarse de nuevo cada día y los animales también pueden humedecerse ligeramente cada día. What's more, siempre debe haber musgo húmedo para que los animales puedan arrastrarse si es necesario. The humidity is especially important for young animals. This allows a nice smooth shell to grow.. In this way, el equilibrio hídrico de los animales se mantiene estable. The Water, in the form of drinkers and bowls for bathing, must always be available in the greenhouse and in the outdoor enclosure, and must be fresh at all times. The Daily water changes are mandatory. No need to bathe animals. Turtles bathe at will. La única excepción es una semana después de la hibernación. Aquí los animales se bañan una vez durante 10 or 20 minutes in warm water.

The Temperatures in the outdoor enclosure do not influence to keep them outdoors, as animals do not have access to the outside if temperatures are too low (below 12 °C). In this phase (spring and late autumn), los animales siguen en hibernación o permanecen en el marco frío. In the greenhouse, the temperature must be at least 20 °C durante el día y no menos de 14 °C at night. At these temperatures, turtles have a healthy life during the transition period. In summer, When the greenhouse is open all the time, temperatures only depend on nature. What offers turtles a natural life and appropriate to their species.

¿Qué come la "Hermann's tortoise"?

The Hermann's tortoise es herbívora. Prefer dried herbs and grasses. The diet can also be completed with fresh vegetables. El alimento no debe ser demasiado rico en proteínas, as animals will grow too fast and this can lead to deformities in the shell.

Social behavior and reproduction

Testudo hermanni boettgeri
Un pequeño “Testudo hermanni boettgeri” sale del huevoPhotographer/Zeichner: Krüger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hermann's tortoise is a solitary animal in the wild, but sometimes it can appear in small groups. The sexes can be distinguished quite easily. The tail of females is shorter and thicker. The abdominal shell of males is slightly curved inward. Males are very territorial. You can have one male with three females. Los animales no deberían poder verse todo el tiempo. Since Hermann's tortoise must subsequently be kept outside, this can be done well with a planting of small bushes and bushes.

After several months of hibernation, mating usually occurs (rarely in the previous autumn). The females lay from 3 a 10 eggs one to three times a year. The young hatch after 55 a 75 days.

Buy one "Hermann's tortoise"

The price of a "Hermann's tortoise", bred in captivity, in the exotic animal market ranges from 130 – 200 EUR, depending on its size.


State of conservation ⓘ

Status Near Threatened ⓘ (UICN)ⓘ

The subspecies T. h. hermanni is included in the Red List of the IUCN of species threatened with extinction, like all species in the genus Testudo. The Hermann's tortoise está protegida por la Convención de Berna.​

It is also included in the CITES and in the directive 1332/2005 of the European Community, de forma que queda absolutamente prohibida la captura de ejemplares salvajes y está reglamentada la cría y el comercio de ejemplares en cautiverio.


The Hermann's tortoise You can live up 70 years. This should be taken into account when buying a young animal. It is advisable to think about inheritance when buying: ¿quién se quedará con mi animal entonces?

¿Cuántos años vive la Hermann's tortoise?

The Hermann's tortoise You can live up 100 years in captivity. Todo propietario debería contar con al menos 70 years if turtles are kept well, as they reach this age without problems in nature. On rare occasions, the Hermann's tortoise can live longer than 100 years.

¿Cuánto crece laHermann's tortoise?

The Hermann's tortoise reaches to measure up to 25 cm.. The size of a specimen also depends on the exact subspecies of the Hermann's tortoise, así como de su sexo. Female turtles grow larger than males and are also heavier. They belong to the species of medium-sized turtles.

¿La Hermann's tortoise goes into hibernation?

Yes, the Hermann's tortoise goes into hibernation every year after birth. Usually starts in November and ends at most in May, but in Europe it is usually already in April. Therefore, turtles are in hibernation for four to five months each year.

Videos "Hermann's tortoise"

Alternative names:

    1. Western Hermann’s tortoise (T. h. hermanni), Eastern Hermann’s tortoise (T. h. boettgeri) (English).
    2. Tortue des Maures (French).
    3. Mittelmeerschildkröte (German).
    4. Tartaruga de Hermann (Portuguese).
    5. Tortuga de Hermann (español).

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