Habitat: inhabits fairly
arid, low humidity desert regions.
Size: females carapace
~5 inches, male ~ 4 inches; males have longer tail.
Lifespan: over 50 years
Active: diurnal. If
temperatures rise too much over 85-90 degrees, they become inactive.
Caging: requires a lot
Temp: Daytime up to
85F, and nighttime above 70F. Above 85F they become inactive.
Lighting: UV lighting
required. Basking lamp recommended.
Food: Mixed greens (kale,
mustard, dandelions, etc.), weeds, succulent plants and green leaves.
Mixed flowers include rose, hibiscus, bergamot petals, borage, chives,
cress, dill, fennel, lavender, thyme, mints (excluding pennyroyal), oregano,
sage, rosemary, safflower, sweet cicely, calendula, carnation, pansy,
marigold and nasturtiums. Only feed petals because some stems and calyx
can be toxic. Vegetables include grated carrots, sweet potato, broccoli,
squash, green beans, canned whole kernel corn, etc., as well as rehydrated
dried lentil beans. Commercial tortoise diet can also be fed. Rabbit pellets
can be mixed in food to provide additional fiber. Fruit is noted to be
problematic for T. Kleinmanni and should NOT be offered. Make sure all
fresh greens and flowers are pesticide free. Vitamins: Calcium, cuttlefish
bones, calcium carbonate BP.
Hatchlings: maintained in aquarium or large sweater box similar to adults.
Substrate: start with
very slightly moist peat moss, gradually transition to dry peat moss,
then dry alfalfa and dry oyster shell. (beneficial to uniform shell growth).
Hatchlings fed very finely chopped food (soft or thin greens or moistened
tortoise chow). As their size increases add a few larger pieces of greens.
Hibernation: NOT recommended,
they do not hibernate in their natural habitat.
Temperament: Good natured
and gentle. No aggression observed.
Tips: Regular worming.
Regular bathing, tepid water, not too deep, at least 2 times a week. Somewhere
to hide. Weekly vitamin supplements. Regular inspections of weight.
Notes: most endangered land tortoise in the Mediterranean region. CITES Appendix