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requesting tortoise id please Romania

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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 00:13   #1
Earnest lad
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requesting tortoise id please Romania

Dear colleagues
In a recent trip to the Dobrugea region of Romania i was travelling past the Babadag forest along the road that goes past Slava Rusa. Upon emerging from the forested area to more open type countryside, I took a walk along a promising looking path. Soon I was delighted. I spotted a tortoise, which I photographed. Then, a few yards further on was another slightly larger tortoise, which I also snapped.
Now what I would like to request is: I hear there is the Hermanns tortoise and the Spur thighed tortoise in that country.
Please can anyone assist with id of the animals I saw (attached)
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 05:50   #2
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Do you have any photos of the rear Earnest Lad? The easiest way to separate them is the supracaudal (above the tail) plates - Hermann's have two, Spur-thighed only one. The tortoise on the right (are they the same animal?) looks like it only has one but can't be sure from this angle.

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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 08:07   #3
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Dear Scridifer.
These are two different ones. The pattern of markings although similar are slightly different if one looks very closely.
Thank you for the information. About the supracaudal: Well to be honest not knowing anything about tortoises I didnt think to photograph the rear. Still I know where to look next time!
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 08:48   #4
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I'm sure a competent herpetologist can distinguish them by markings alone but I find both species vary considerably and I can't!
Of course Spur-thighed has spurs on its rear legs but these aren't easy to see without lifting the tortoise up, something I don't like to do (unless I find one in the middle of a road)!

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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 10:17   #5
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Well I didn't touch either of these two either. I guess it wouldn't have done any harm for me to have a quick look underneath just for once but it was nice to see my first tortoises in the wild anyway. And it was close by the spot where I saw a pair of Sombre tits!
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 06:08   #6
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Hello!
Both are Testudo graeca ibera - spur tight tortoise or Moorish tortoise.
The character with the divided Supracaudal plate works only in lets say 80 %, depends on the population. In graeca single, in hermanni (Greek tortoise) divided.
It is good, not to handle tortoises, especially during summer and autumn. By stress the loose their water from the anal blades and in the dry season it is very hard form them to fill up their water reservoir again.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 12:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vipersgarden View Post
Hello!
Both are Testudo graeca ibera - spur tight tortoise or Moorish tortoise.
[b]The character with the divided Supracaudal plate works only in lets say 80 %, depends on the population[/B. In graeca single, in hermanni (Greek tortoise) divided.
It is good, not to handle tortoises, especially during summer and autumn. By stress the loose their water from the anal blades and in the dry season it is very hard form them to fill up their water reservoir again.
Thanks Mario, that's interesting! Is there any other characteristic to look for in the field? As I say I only ever pick one up to move it out of danger!

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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 07:50   #8
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yes, there are some differences to look for without handling the tortoise:
1) the dark markings on the Carapax plates have a - but not very distinctive - star appearance (you can see it on your pictures)
2) the scales on the front feed are quite large (much more than in hermanni)
3) the supracaudal plate mostly is dark/black
4) no horn nail on tail tip
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 08:25   #9
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I was very distubed in the 1980's whilst on Corfu, to find a nice colony of Hermans (?), only to then find them turning up stuffed in a local souvenir shop.
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 10:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vipersgarden View Post
yes, there are some differences to look for without handling the tortoise:
1) the dark markings on the Carapax plates have a - but not very distinctive - star appearance (you can see it on your pictures)
2) the scales on the front feed are quite large (much more than in hermanni)
3) the supracaudal plate mostly is dark/black
4) no horn nail on tail tip
Much appreciated Mario - many thanks!

Chris
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 06:33   #11
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I was very distubed in the 1980's whilst on Corfu, to find a nice colony of Hermans (?), only to then find them turning up stuffed in a local souvenir shop.
it is very good, that things are illegal now.
But in June 2009 I found these three turtles in a souvenir shop on the Croatian island of Krk.
After calling a friend in the university the turtles have been confiscated and the shop has been closed.
Turtles already here at the ministry in Rijeka
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Old Sunday 14th July 2019, 00:08   #12
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Dear vipersgarden
Thank you so much for kindly settling the matter. Even though I am only a birder really, it is nice to know what the species name is when one spots something interesting that is non-avian
However please may I enquire: which is the carapax plate(s) as I would like to look for the star shape
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Old Sunday 14th July 2019, 05:32   #13
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in Testudo hermanni the rib-plates (Lateralia) have a solid dark lower border, while in Testudo graeca the Lateralia look like, having a star pattern from the center of each plate
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