Best 10 Spider Tortoise Facts, Size , Habitat, Lifespan

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Spider tortoise

If you’ve read my articles on incredible species of tortoise, you would be familiar with the phenomena of how beautifully unique tortoises are named, because of their exciting features. Just like that, today I am going to talk about the tortoise which has a very exciting, and impressive name and its name is “spider tortoise” I personally found its name really interesting, I felt curious about discovering more about this tortoise. Yeah, I found what I was looking for, this tortoise has a very exciting spider-web like pattern over the body of its shell, which is the main reason for its unique name.

Let’s discover more exciting facts, and features of this tortoise!

Spider tortoise classification

Lets have a look at its classification: 

Scientific Name Pxyis arachnoides
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order  Testudines
Suborder Cryptodira
Superfamily Testudinoidea
Family Testudinidae
Genus Pyxis
Species P. arachnoides
Diet  Herbivores
Lifespan  70 years.
Incubation period  220 to 250 days.  
Trophic level Herbivores
Length  4 to 7 inches

Spider tortoise physical appearance

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I have already mentioned the structure of its shell, now lets about the color-selection, web-like pattern over its body are nothing, but yellow colored lines that are beautifully designed on its dark brown shell. Its plastron is slightly hinged that helps it to pull its head and front legs under the shell, to protect itself. Tail and head follow the same color, I.e. brown. 

Spider tortoise size 

They don’t have very massive size, their carapace can grow up to 17 centimeters that makeup 7 inchesHow big do Spider tortoises get? Female tortoises are large than males, and thus they can reach a maximum length of 12 centimeters that makes up 5 inches. On the other hand, male tortoises have an average length of 11 centimeters that makes up 4.5 inches.  

Spider tortoise 1

Spider tortoise facts

Have a look at some surprising facts about these tortoises that will thoroughly amaze you!

  1. Out of the four endemic tortoise species of Madagascar, this tortoise stands out at the last position.
  2. Female tortoises are more giant than the male tortoise, yay, women power.
  3. Being only one species with hinged plastron makes it’s unique. 
  4. Its beautiful skin is often traded illegally for market material.
  5. Estivation is possessed by them when the winter seasons come. 
  6. Once, on July 5, this species appeared at the national zoo, zoo members said it was a surprise. 

Spider tortoise habitat

Their range is not widely spread; it seems they want themselves confined, and stuck to a particular area. They are found in a confined belt of dry forests along Madagascar’s southwestern coast. Most of the areas covered by these tortoises have a larger portion of canopy cover. To keep their body temperature regulated, they have shadow themselves under vegetation. 

Spider tortoise hibernation

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These tortoises do hibernate, and thus possess the state of dormancy during winter seasons. Before the start of winter, they dig burrows under the ground up to several feet deep, where the temperature is warm, and when winter comes, they exhibit estivation. They do not come out of their burrows until the winter is gone.

Spider tortoise lifespan

How long precisely these tortoises live, it’s difficult to say, but, according to researches, it seems that these tortoises can live up to 70 years of life. They reach maturity at an early age. At the age of 10 to 12 years, most of them become  matured. Still, these tortoises are facing population decline, and there are several forces in power behind this. Could you have a look at them?

Population threat

They are critically endangered species of tortoises, and the significant reasons for this are illegal pet trade, habitat loss, destruction and conversion of land, predation, and hunting. Fire incidents due to human irresponsibilities are adding more threat to their population. One more risk that is driving their community to be extinct in the near future is their low reproduction rate.

Spider tortoise mating

For about six to eight months, these tortoises remain dormant, and just after the winter season ends, they came out of their burrows to seek a mate. Male tortoises chase females, until they respond, and agrees to mate. Spider tortoise breeding period lasts throughout the spring. After the mating is successfully done, the female is ready to lay eggs. 

Spider tortoise baby

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Before the egg-laying process is to be started, there is a need of a nest where eggs are to be laid; lady mother tortoise digs this nest. Eggs are incubated for about 220 to 250 days. Only one baby is born per clutch, thus building a road towards an extinct population.

Spider tortoise 2

Spider tortoise as a pet

If you are reading out this whole article to get to the point, I am just going to cover, then stay here, because this point is going to be your cup of tea! As I am going to talk about these tortoises as pets. Yeah! With a little care, and look after, these tortoises make beautiful pets. They remain calm most of the time and become slightly aggressive during mating. In the wild, they stay active in wet season during November and April. They come out of their burrows at dawn and dusk, most activity is observed after the sunrise in the morning. 

Spider tortoise price

This would be the central area of concern of potential pet owners. I would not let you wait for more. Let’s come to the point; the spider tortoise cost is $895. Now that’s not the rule of thumb. That’s just an average cost. It can cost you a little more if you are going for a mother tortoise. 

Spider tortoise care

Appropriate caring of pet leads to earlier, and better relations with your pet. However, but caring is not that much simple; you need to put forth a lot of effort, Honestly speaking, it’s a hard roe to hoe! But the question of how can you take good care of your pet, what are those critical step that you must follow. Just read carefully the points mentioned below.

Spider tortoise diet

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A proper diet is critical to maintaining tortoise health. Diet you’ll be giving your tortoise should consist of romaine, escarole, green leaf lettuce, chopped greens, and dandelion. Some fruits would be considered as a plus point. Thus try adding zucchini, strawberries, white mushrooms, banana, etc., fruits should be finely chopped, and mixed up with greens. Try to give them this mixture on daily basis. During winter, its not necessary to provide them with food every day, you can have a day gap or two. 

Spider tortoise enclosure

These tortoises do not require a very large-sized enclosure. If you are captivating 10 to 12 adults, an enclosure of 4 feet long by 6 feet wide would be enough. If you own only one adult, it can be kept inside a sweater box, and if you want to go for an enclosure, then make sure it is 2 feet long by 3 feet wide. During summer, in areas with little fluctuations in weather, an outdoor enclosure would be perfect. Make sure to make it like its native habitat. 

Spider tortoise lighting and heat

In the winter season, besides shifting their enclosure indoors, also make sure to place a basking spot at one corner of the enclosure maintained at the temperature of 80 FahrenheitThe other side of the enclosure without a basking spot should be around 70 Fahrenheit. It will help them out to thermoregulate their bodies. 

Spider tortoise 3

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