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Marginated Tortoise

Marginated Tortoise
Testudo marginata

The Marginated Tortoise can only be found in parts of Greece and southern Albania, they have also been introduced in Sardinia and Tuscany, Italy.

OriginGreece and Italy
Environment Arid deserts
Adult Size 12-15 Inches
SuitabilityBeginner
Life Span20 Years +
TemperamentDocile

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What Do Marginated Tortoise’s Look Like?

Marginated Tortoises are a medium size species which grow on average around 12-15inches. They have a beautiful shell colouration, which contrasts between black and off white, similar to the colour of a Hermann’s Tortoise. One easy way to tell the two apart is not only by their size but to look at the rear end of a Marginated tortoise. Their shell flares out, giving them the appearance of wearing a mini skirt. This is normal for this species and not something to worry about.

Where Do Marginated Tortoises Come From?

In the wild Marginated Tortoises can be found in Greece and Italy. They have now been successfully bred in captivity all around Europe and also the UK too, providing the pet trade with captive bred babies. 

How Do I Keep A Marginated Tortoise?

The best housing for a Marginated Tortoise would be a Tortoise Table. Tortoise Tables being open top provide plenty of ventilation and air flow. The table should be ideally 4ft in length so that it provides the tortoise with plenty of space to roam and grow. Once the tortoise reaches a sub adult stage you will need to start looking at upgrading, as the tortoise will climb out of the enclosure. For babies we recommend the Exotic Pets Tortoise Starter Kit.
 
UVB and heat is essential to your tortoises health. This is why we recommend the use of a Mercury Vapour bulb as it emits both. The UVB will help with shell and bone growth development and the heat will allow your tortoise to digest its food. Please note Mercury Vapour bulbs should NOT be connected to a thermostat as they will not work. 
 
Basking temperatures for a Marginated Tortoise should be 95F-100F(35C-38C). The heat light being positioned above the enclosure facing downwards will allow for a natural temperature gradient. This way the tortoise can move away from the heat, if it feels it needs to. For night time heating you can use a heat mat connected to a thermostat in the bedding area where the tortoise sleeps. Most tortoise tables will have a glass slot to hold the mat. Night time temperatures can drop to 65F-70F(18C-21C)
 
To help monitor the temperature you can use a digital thermometer as this can be moved around the enclosure and you get a more accurate reading.
 
Humidity shouldn’t exceed 60% as this can lead to respiratory problems. 
 
Prorep Tortoise Life substrate has been specially developed for many tortoise species and allows them to express natural behaviour such as digging. Komodo edible bedding can also be used as a substrate and food supplement as it contains dried grasses and flowers. This will also encourage foraging. 
 
When selecting decor for the enclosure its best to avoid bright coloured artificial plants as your tortoise may try to eat them. Cork bark pieces can be placed around the enclosure for the tortoise to climb over and Komodo Wooden Hides also provide shaded areas for the tortoise to sleep and escape the heat. 
 
Food and water can be provided via the use of Tortoise pool’s and feed dishes. These bowls lay flat so the tortoise can easily manoeuvre in and out the bowls as they please. 
Marginated Tortoises prefer to eat dried and fresh greens and natural weeds. Fruit can be fed as a treat but not on a regular basis. Prepared foods such as Prorep Tortoise diets are also handy to have available. 
 
Its important to provide your tortoise with Calcium and Vitamin supplements. Calcium should be provided roughly four times a week and vitamins at least twice a week. Prorep Tortoise Calcium Blocks can be left in the enclosure to provide your tortoise with a natural calcium source and the blocks will also help trim their beaks. 
 
 
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