Of the numerous tortoise species that are kept as pets, the Russian tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii) is one of the most popular. It belongs to the Testudo genus of the Testudinidae family. It is the only member of this genus to have four toes, unlike other members who have three.
Also called the Horsfield's tortoise or central Asian tortoise, this species is known to be highly adaptable. While the average length of this species is 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm), specimen as large as 9 inches (23 cm) also exist. The upper shell of this tortoise is greenish to olive brown in color, with distinct dark patches.
What Does the Russian Tortoise Eat?
A herbivore that it is, the Russian tortoise prefers rocky or hilly terrain which is abundant in grass and vegetation. In its natural habitat, it either digs its own burrow, or occupies ones that have been abandoned by other animals. The diet of this tortoise species comprises ...
|Hibiscus flowers and leaves|
|Mixed salad greens|
|Red and green leaf lettuce|
Facts about the Russian Tortoise
As a pet owner, the diet of this species is not your lone concern. You also need to pay attention to its health and wellbeing. It is always better to be well-versed with the ailments which may affect your pet turtle. It requires a basking spot of 90ºF (32ºC) in its pen. Keeping it in a cool or damp spot for a prolonged period can lead to certain respiratory problems. So, watch out for signs like puffy eyes, runny nose, etc. Those that are captive-bred turn out to be better pets than the ones caught in the wild. If you are going for a pet Russian turtle that has been caught in the wild, then you should get it checked from a vet, lest it might be suffering from some ailment or may be a host to parasites.
Before you get one of these creatures home, you need to do some research on its requirements, especially with reference to housing, lighting, temperament, water, and of course, and feeding.