Best 10 Greek Tortoise Facts, Size, Diet, Price

Greek Tortoise

Greek Tortoise with another name spur-thighed tortoise is one of the five species of tortoise found in the “Mediterranean”. This tortoise has a Greek word in its name which Is given to it as the patterns on its shell has dots and borders of traditional Greek mosaic. It has a scientific name of “Testudo graeca”.  It is found in Southern Europe, Northern Europe, and Southwest Asia. This tortoise has been popular as a friendlier pet.

Scientific NameTestudo graeca
SpeciesT. graeca
DietHerbaceous grasses
Lifespan125 years
Weight6 kg
Gestation period60 days
Trophic levelHerbivores
Length7-12 inches

 Now let’s talk about its classification into subspecies:

This tortoise has a very vast population, although its specific stat is unknown; according to researches, it is spread across different regions of the world; thus, many of its subspecies has also discovered. Let me name some!

  • T. g. soussensis (South Morocco)
  • T. g. marokkensis (North Morocco)
  • T. g. nabeulensis (Tunisian tortoise )
  • T. g. buxtoni (Caspian Sea)

There are twenty currently known subspecies of it. These subspecies differ in size, weight, colors, and types of flecks. Due to the various climatic changes and biotopes, it is believed that even more of its species exists which has not discovered yet, but biologists are working on them.

Greek tortoise size

If you have seen the Greek tortoise before, you would be surely familiar with its size,  but still, the common question is how big do Greek Tortoises get?  If you haven’t seen it before, let me tell you it has a weight of 6 kg and a length of 7-12 inches. These tortoises do not have a giant size like most of the tortoises have. Greek tortoise physical appearance is lavishing; it has a domed carapace and large eyes with a flat head. It has strong claws and big scales on its front legs.  

Greek Tortoise

Greek tortoise diet

They are herbivores and eats the grasses which are ”high in fiber” and low in protein just like other tortoises. If you have it as a pet, give them a variety of leafy greens and other vegetables such as fresh parsley, dandelion greens, zucchini, shredded carrots, and broccoli.

Greek tortoise lifespan

I, personally, am totally astonished by their lifespan’s and most of you would have thought of its lifespan of no more than 10 years keeping in view its size, but wonderfully! That’s not correct at all. These tortoises can live up to 125 years of its life. Like seriously! Yes.!  However, it depends on how long this tortoise can save itself from a predator, and if it is in captivity, it can live even longer than in the wild.

Greek tortoise care

If you are really interested in keeping it as a pet, its care is really, really important. If they don’t get the proper diet, they could lead to premature death. So, be ready for its care because it’s gonna take your time. Don’t be afraid! Setting up everything always takes a little bit of effort. It’s important to know, How do you take care of a Greek tortoise? So,  Let me give you some tips!

  • Maintain a healthy diet and look after it every day!
  • Look for if any signs appear which are not normal, they can lead to serious health issues.
  • For its captivity, don’t use a glass terrarium, but rather a wooden made.
  • Its enclosure should not be confined, when having Greek tortoise at home, it can make them panic can create a dyspneic condition.
  • Make sure to make its enclosure size 6 feet long and three feet tall.
  • Ensure that the enclosure is predator-proof while moving it to outdoor.

Greek tortoise price

So, if you have decided to keep this tortoise as a pet, it’s important to know at what prices they are sold in the market. Green tortoise cost is not very high and thus bearable. It will cost you $200 other than its diet material. This price is really cheap! and this is because it lays up to 60 eggs per clutch.

Greek Tortoise

Greek tortoise vs Russian tortoise

Greek TortoiseRussian Tortoise
Baby hatchling is 1 and a half inch longBaby hatchling is 1 inch long
it has a lifespan of more than 50 yearsIt has a maximum lifespan of 40 years
The humidity level should not be less than 50%The humidity level should stay around 60%
it is also known as Moorish tortoiseit is also known as central Asian tortoise
it is a species of T. graecaIt is a species of A. horsfieldii

 Greek tortoise behavior

It is active during most of the day and not so much offensive except when male tortoise confronts each other in the matting, in that case, the situation can be totally out of control. It is used to of the environment it resides, once it becomes familiar to its owner, it becomes social. They are really responsive towards someone with food.

Greek tortoise breeds

When winter season ends, and they wakes up from hibernation, their mating periods start instantly. Greek tortoise mating behavior can either be 1 male to many female tortoises, thus exhibiting polygynous or wither many males to one female thus exhibiting polyandrous. Females are followed and encircled by males. After successful mating, it is prepared to lay eggs.

Greek tortoise baby

One week from laying an egg, mother tortoise looks around for the perfect place to lay eggs. After 60-70 days, eggs begin to hath. Per clutch, more than 12 eggs are laid. Baby Greek tortoises are called a hatchling. It has a length of 1 and a half-inch. For the first few days of their birth, they stay vulnerable and thus require safety.

Greek tortoise baby care

Its care is very important for growth. Keeping them well hydrated and at a sufficient level of humidity is beneficial for them. Grasses should be provided to them to maintain a healthy diet.

Greek tortoise vs Hermann’s tortoise

As I told you earlier, the Greek tortoise is one of the five species from the Mediterranean, and the other species from the Mediterranean includes Hermann’s tortoise. These two tortoises are generally used interchangeably by some people, but that’s not correct they aren’t the same and have noticeable differences.

Greek tortoiseHermann’s tortoise
It has a large symmetrical marking over its headIt has small scales on its head
Spurs can be easily seen on each thighNo spurs on its thigh
The underside has a dark central fleckThe underside has two black bands
Shell has a doom type shapeThe shape of the shell is oval
No spur on the tailSpurs on the tip of the tail

Greek tortoise facts

The Facts, I’m gonna tell you about these tortoises will totally amaze you! Let’s have a look at them:

  • Males of this tortoise are smaller than female tortoises.
  • During the winter seasons, they possess a state of hibernation (deep sleep).
  • Due to the illegal pet trade and habitat degradation, these tortoises are fighting the battle of life.
  • This species of tortoise is declared as vulnerable on IUCN red list.
  • They inhibit two types of matting, either polygynous or polyandrous.

Greek Tortoise

Are Greek tortoise good pets?

Yes! They do make fantastic pets. , but before having them as a pet, you must be committed to it, as it has a very long lifespan of more than 50 years and you may not be able to manage with it this long.  However! It is friendly in nature with a lax personality. Their beautiful shells are just fantastic and eye-catching.

Do Greek tortoises burrow?

Yes! They do dig burrows, and it’s necessary to avoid hot temperatures, thus digging burrows deep down in the ground to absorb moisture as much as possible. In the winter season, for the persistence of hibernation, burrows are immediately required. A single tortoise can even have more than 30 burrows. Burrows specifically made for winter seasons are 30 feet deep.

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