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Speckled Padloper

Discussion in 'All other African tortoises' started by dannomite, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. dannomite

    dannomite New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I was doing some research this morning and came across some info on this unique little Tort. Smallest in the world (was going to post on the other thread but it was closed).

    Has anyone ever come across any of these for sale? I wonder why they aren't more common as they are so small. It seems like it would be a good species to breed in large numbers as they stay nice and small instead of massive like other common breeds.

    Has any of the Canadian forum members heard of this breed in Canada anywhere?
  2. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    The reason they are not common is the slowness with which they procreate. Such a tiny tortoise can not lay a large clutch of eggs. In fact, they only lay one at a time. Also, being so small, they can be quite delicate, and working with wild caught specimens always has its disadvantages. Some wild caughts, such as Russians, generally are hardy and do well as long as they are treated for parasites. Others, such as Hingebacks, can be hard to keep alive.

    Being an endangered species, Padlopers are most often kept among zoos and other institutions that have the knowledge and longevity to properly care for and help the species propagate.
  3. Redfoot NERD

    Redfoot NERD Well-Known Member

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    Knoxville Zoological Gardens has had a pair for several years - and have not had any success breeding either. I saw Michael, the Herp Curator, a couple months ago and when he showed them again, mentioned that they still hadn't bred yet.. soon be 6 years after these pics!

    In case anyone hasn't seen them before -

    [​IMG]

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    NERD
  4. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Active Member Staff Member

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    It is kind of sad that many of the smaller tortoise species are not better candidates for the captive-bred pet trade, but they generally breed slowly, have tricky care issues, and so on.

    Most of them are also severely endangered, so just collecting enough to make this work can destroy wild populations.

    Of course, none of this stops the illegal and 'grey' pet trade from stealing large numbers of them whenever they can get away with it.
  5. GBtortoises

    GBtortoises Active Member

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    They aren't common for a few reasons: 1) They are not a geographically widespread species within their natural habitat. 2) They reproduce in small numbers (1-2 eggs per clutch) and they are now highly protected, as are the other Homopus subspecies along with the Tent tortoise complex. 3) Any that do somehow mysteriously become available are extremely expensive, in the thousands of dollars.

    I kept a pair over 20 years ago, very successfully, (along with a group of Parrotbeak tortoises at the same time). I have disagree with what Kristina mentions above, they were actually a very hardy & active species. The male was extremely outgoing and aggressive. Their small adult size plays no part in whether they are difficult to maintain in captivity or not.
  6. dannomite

    dannomite New Member

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    That makes sense now. I would love to find one or two...then again i'd love a Galap too...we can dream I guess
  7. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    My statement was based on reading several accounts of Homopus being difficult to keep in general. Most stated that the speckled and common varieties were more hardy than the others. A lot also depends on the keeper. Hingebacks for instance are difficult to acclimate, yet I have 7 all healthy and eating like horses. I am not saying I am super-special, just that having tortoise experience better prepared me for taking on a more "delicate" species.
  8. GBtortoises

    GBtortoises Active Member

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    Kristina, I was not implying that you were wrong. I disagreed with what you stated because my experience with the two Homopus species that I had was the opposite. I found them to be very hardy, active and in the case of signatus, very outgoing and unaffraid. The aerolatus were equally hardy and active but much more reclusive. My experience with the Parrotbeaks was somewhat like that of Bell's Hingebacks that I used to keep. They were hardy, active and once acclimated, not as difficult to maintain (given certain requirements) but mine were very shy and reclusive.
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