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Testudo graeca terrestris (Mesopotamian)

Jordan

Adult Size

Males grow about 5" (12 to 13 cm) and weigh 300-500 grams.


Females grow to around 7" (17 to 18 cm) and weigh at least 1,000 grams.

Diet

High in fiber, rich in calcium, and low in protein. Weeds, broadleaf greens, flowers, optunia cactus and optunia fruit. Organic store-bought greens and Mazuri on occasion. No fruit - too high in sugars.

Humidity

Very little humidity. Must be kept in a warm, dry habitat.

Description

The carapace is nearly fully orange-gold in color, with little black markings.

Brumation

This subspecies does not brumate but can slow down its activity for a brief time. It is best to bring indoors and continue providing proper lighting and heat.

Environment

Hot, dry, sandy desert. This subspecies is sensitive and cannot tolerate wet conditions for long periods of time. They can handle cooler temperatures as long as the environment remains dry.

Syria

Adult Size

Males grow about 5" (12 to 13 cm) and weigh 300-500 grams.


Females grow to around 7" (17 to 18 cm) and weigh at least 1,000 grams.

Diet

High in fiber, rich in calcium, and low in protein. Weeds, broadleaf greens, flowers, optunia cactus and optunia fruit. Organic store-bought greens and Mazuri on occasion. No fruit - too high in sugars.

Humidity

Very little humidity. Must be kept in a warm, dry habitat.

Description

The carapace is nearly fully bright yellow with no black markings.

Brumation

This subspecies does not brumate but can slow down its activity for a brief time. It is best to bring indoors and continue providing proper lighting and heat.

Environment

Hot, dry, sandy desert. This subspecies is sensitive and cannot tolerate wet conditions for long periods of time. They can handle cooler temperatures as long as the environment remains dry.

Gaza (Bodenheimer's Floweri)

Adult Size

Males grow about 5" (12 to 13 cm) and weigh 300-500 grams.


Females grow to around 7" (17 to 18 cm) and weigh at least 1,000 grams.

Diet

High in fiber, rich in calcium, and low in protein. Weeds, broadleaf greens, flowers, optunia cactus and optunia fruit. Organic store-bought greens and Mazuri on occasion. No fruit - too high in sugars.

Humidity

Very little humidity. Must be kept in a warm, dry habitat.

Description

The carapace is nearly fully bright yellow with black markings. The head is also yellow and there is a dark spot on the tail.

Brumation

This subspecies does not brumate but can slow down its activity for a brief time. It is best to bring indoors and continue providing proper lighting and heat.

Environment

Hot, dry, sandy desert. This subspecies is sensitive and cannot tolerate wet conditions for long periods of time. They can handle cooler temperatures as long as the environment remains dry.

Lebanon

Adult Size

Males grow about 5" (12 to 13 cm) and weigh 300-500 grams.


Females grow to around 7" (17 to 18 cm) and weigh at least 1,000 grams.

Diet

High in fiber, rich in calcium, and low in protein. Weeds, broadleaf greens, flowers, optunia cactus and optunia fruit. Organic store-bought greens and Mazuri on occasion. No fruit - too high in sugars.

Humidity

Very little humidity. Must be kept in a warm, dry habitat.

Description

The carapace is nearly fully black with little to no yellow or orange coloring.

Brumation

This subspecies does not brumate but can slow down its activity for a brief time. It is best to bring indoors and continue providing proper lighting and heat.

Environment

Hot, dry, sandy desert. This subspecies is sensitive and cannot tolerate wet conditions for long periods of time. They can handle cooler temperatures as long as the environment remains dry.

Golden and Not So Golden

"Golden Greeks"

The term "Golden Greek" is one of those fancy nicknames that misinformed breeders developed to attract attention. There are a variety of Testudo graeca terrestris, and not all of them are "golden" in color.


To solely label this subspecies as a "Golden Greek" is incorrect. The proper name is "Mesopotamian." But the fabricated nickname is catchy and so popular now that there is no stopping it.

"Black Greeks"

Just like the infamous "Golden Greeks," the "Black Greek" does not exist. Most breeders identify the Testudo graeca terrestris from Lebanon to be the "Black Greek" because its carapace and plastron are mostly black in color.


Also, even the darker versions of the Testudo graeca terrestris can breed offspring that is lighter and more "golden" in color.

Testudo graeca terrestris (Care Sheet)

Files coming soon.