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Berlandier's Tortoise Gopherus berlandieri


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Berlandier's Tortoise
credit: Dawson

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Alternate name: Texas Tortoise

Family: Testudinidae, Tortoises view all from this family

Description Round, domed shell. Brown carapace, yellowish plastron, concave on males. Elephantine legs. Front legs scaled and flattened for digging. Head yellowish, slightly pointed at front.

Dimensions 11.4-22.2cm. (4 1/2-8 3/4")

Breeding April-September. Digs a chamber 2 1/2" deep under a bush. Up to 7 eggs in a clutch in various sites. Mature at 3-5 years.

Habitat Woodland chaparral and sandy soils.

Range Texas, Mexico.

Discussion Not adept burrowers. Finds other burrows to improve upon and makes a ramp from damp vegetation. This offers protection from the midday sun. Grasses, cacti and tortoise droppings form the main diet. Rarely survives more than a few months as a pet.