ANY IDEA SEX OF RUSSIAN TORTOISE?

BeardooWeirdoo

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
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14
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Michigan
Hello!

Bought him/her from Petsmart about three weeks ago. Employee voluntarily told me it was a girl. I mentally questioned that and did some research (there’s a great post on here by the way explaining slits on tails are males, puckers are females). Looked like a slit to me. Then I looked at this picture I took today. I’m seeing a pucker now. He/she always tucks his/her tail up except when pooping. Can anyone determine the sex by this picture?

Candy
 

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BeardooWeirdoo

New Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
Hello!

Bought a Russian tortoise from Petsmart roughly three weeks ago. He/she is 4-5 inches. Shell looks like it had a rough life. Seems skinny too. There’s a spot on her nose area too that I noticed that I am now questioning. Shed possibly? I didn’t know if any other Russian tortoise owners/experts on here are able to look over the attached pictures and determine if anything looks funny to them. He/she eats really good and poops everyday. I dropped off a fecal at my vet right when I got him/her and there were no parasites. Any comments would be appreciated.

Candy
 

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BeardooWeirdoo

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Jul 11, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
Hello!

I’m wondering if any Russian tortoise experts on here are able to look over the attached pictures and share their thoughts. Shell looks pretty beat up. Hoping there are no signs of shell rot. He/she seems kind of skinny after seeing other pictures of Russian tortoises on here. There’s also a spot on his/her nose I noticed. May just be shed. Any comments are appreciated. I did have a fecal done and it was negative for parasites.

Candy
 

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Grace-Sophia

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Messages
337
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Hello!

I’m wondering if any Russian tortoise experts on here are able to look over the attached pictures and share their thoughts. Shell looks pretty beat up. Hoping there are no signs of shell rot. He/she seems kind of skinny after seeing other pictures of Russian tortoises on here. There’s also a spot on his/her nose I noticed. May just be shed. Any comments are appreciated. I did have a fecal done and it was negative for parasites.

Candy
Welcome to the TFO! Your tort looks healthy and bright eyed! We would love to know more about him/her, what is his name, gender, and setup look like, we would love some enclosure pictures as well as some plastron pics so we can determine sex if you are unsure (; and once again, welcome, so glad your here!
 

BeardooWeirdoo

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Michigan
Welcome to the TFO! Your tort looks healthy and bright eyed! We would love to know more about him/her, what is his name, gender, and setup look like, we would love some enclosure pictures as well as some plastron pics so we can determine sex if you are unsure (; and once again, welcome, so glad your here!
Thanks for your reply!

Not sure of the sex. The employee voluntarily told me it was a girl. I am questioning that. I will attach a picture to this reply. Right now I have him/her in a Zoo Med Tortoise House 36x24x12, but am looking into a Zoo Med Low Boy because I can’t see him/her in the Tortoise House unless I’m right on top of him/her. I posted a thread about anyone’s experience with the Low Boy earlier and was told it was too small. It is 48x24x10. He/she has a uvb bulb and a basking bulb in a Zoo Med Deep Dome fixture. The uvb is coil so I know I need to change that after reading other posts. I’m hitting in the 90-100 mark depending on where he/she lays on the slate underneath. Using Reptibark for the substrate. He/she has an Exoterra food dish for a water dish. It’s about 1 inch high. I feed her on another slate to aid in beak trimming. I have other pieces of slate on the Reptibark as well to trim her nails. I have fed him/her spring mix, romaine, red leaf, and green leaf so far. I’ve been looking for escarole and endive at Kroger’s but haven’t been able to find any yet. I take him/her outside for a walk everyday. Eats really good twice a day and poops everyday as well. Named her Agnes originally. Been calling her Agador the last few days because I feel like she’s a he. Originally I noticed a slit in the tail, but after taking this picture earlier, I am questioning if that is a pucker and it is, indeed, a female. I found a really informative post on here about sexing your Russian tortoise. Slit is a male, pucker is a female. Always tucking his/her tale in unless it’s pooping. I am thinking of putting her in a 40 gallon breeder that I have until I get the Low Boy so I can interact with him/her better.
 

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Krista S

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832
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Saskatchewan
Thanks for your reply!

Not sure of the sex. The employee voluntarily told me it was a girl. I am questioning that. I will attach a picture to this reply. Right now I have him/her in a Zoo Med Tortoise House 36x24x12, but am looking into a Zoo Med Low Boy because I can’t see him/her in the Tortoise House unless I’m right on top of him/her. I posted a thread about anyone’s experience with the Low Boy earlier and was told it was too small. It is 48x24x10. He/she has a uvb bulb and a basking bulb in a Zoo Med Deep Dome fixture. The uvb is coil so I know I need to change that after reading other posts. I’m hitting in the 90-100 mark depending on where he/she lays on the slate underneath. Using Reptibark for the substrate. He/she has an Exoterra food dish for a water dish. It’s about 1 inch high. I feed her on another slate to aid in beak trimming. I have other pieces of slate on the Reptibark as well to trim her nails. I have fed him/her spring mix, romaine, red leaf, and green leaf so far. I’ve been looking for escarole and endive at Kroger’s but haven’t been able to find any yet. I take him/her outside for a walk everyday. Eats really good twice a day and poops everyday as well. Named her Agnes originally. Been calling her Agador the last few days because I feel like she’s a he. Originally I noticed a slit in the tail, but after taking this picture earlier, I am questioning if that is a pucker and it is, indeed, a female. I found a really informative post on here about sexing your Russian tortoise. Slit is a male, pucker is a female. Always tucking his/her tale in unless it’s pooping. I am thinking of putting her in a 40 gallon breeder that I have until I get the Low Boy so I can interact with him/her better.
Cute tortoise! The tail seems a little on the long side, so I’m think it’s a male. Definitely for a tortoise of this size the low boy you’re looking at is way too small. 48x24 would be suitable for a hatchling size for maybe a year, but yours is full grown. Also, the height of the lowboy…if it’s 10” like you say isn’t tall enough. This tortoise is a borrower and should have at least 5 inches of substrate. He’d be able to walk right out. Your tortoise needs something closer to 4ft x 8ft, but even bigger would be better. They need a lot of space even though they’re a small species. Having the space to wander aids in them being able to digest their food properly and it also allows for you to provide them with everything they need to be happy, healthy and thrive. I don’t believe you’ll be able to buy an enclosure the size you require. It is easiest to either build one or have it built. I know what you mean about not wanting to always look down from above. When I had my enclosure built I designed it to have a 3 foot long piece that’s hinged and can fold down so I can have easier access to the inside of the enclosure and my tortoise. I just took this picture to give you an idea what what I mean.

4468D6AF-9EF6-4270-A000-036BBDCCFC6F.jpeg

Incase it hasn’t already been linked for you, here’s an excellent care sheet/thread that will help your little guy thrive.

 

BeardooWeirdoo

New Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
Cute tortoise! The tail seems a little on the long side, so I’m think it’s a male. Definitely for a tortoise of this size the low boy you’re looking at is way too small. 48x24 would be suitable for a hatchling size for maybe a year, but yours is full grown. Also, the height of the lowboy…if it’s 10” like you say isn’t tall enough. This tortoise is a borrower and should have at least 5 inches of substrate. He’d be able to walk right out. Your tortoise needs something closer to 4ft x 8ft, but even bigger would be better. They need a lot of space even though they’re a small species. Having the space to wander aids in them being able to digest their food properly and it also allows for you to provide them with everything they need to be happy, healthy and thrive. I don’t believe you’ll be able to buy an enclosure the size you require. It is easiest to either build one or have it built. I know what you mean about not wanting to always look down from above. When I had my enclosure built I designed it to have a 3 foot long piece that’s hinged and can fold down so I can have easier access to the inside of the enclosure and my tortoise. I just took this picture to give you an idea what what I mean.

View attachment 330053

Incase it hasn’t already been linked for you, here’s an excellent care sheet/thread that will help your little guy thrive.

Oh my god! That enclosure is gorgeous! I'm going to have to hit my husband up to help me build something. I am leaning more towards male too. Do you just have one tortoise in there? Thank you for your reply and the information! I really appreciate it!
 

Krista S

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Tortoise Club
Joined
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Messages
832
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Saskatchewan
Oh my god! That enclosure is gorgeous! I'm going to have to hit my husband up to help me build something. I am leaning more towards male too. Do you just have one tortoise in there? Thank you for your reply and the information! I really appreciate it!
Yes, I just have 1 tortoise in there. He is a Hermann’s tortoise who just turned 2 years old. If you want more pictures or information about the enclosure for yourself or to show your husband, here is a thread I posted shortly after Dozer moved into his new house.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂
 

maggie3fan

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Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
5,144
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PacificNorthWest
Thanks for your reply!

Not sure of the sex. The employee voluntarily told me it was a girl. I am questioning that. I will attach a picture to this reply. Right now I have him/her in a Zoo Med Tortoise House 36x24x12, but am looking into a Zoo Med Low Boy because I can’t see him/her in the Tortoise House unless I’m right on top of him/her. I posted a thread about anyone’s experience with the Low Boy earlier and was told it was too small. It is 48x24x10. He/she has a uvb bulb and a basking bulb in a Zoo Med Deep Dome fixture. The uvb is coil so I know I need to change that after reading other posts. I’m hitting in the 90-100 mark depending on where he/she lays on the slate underneath. Using Reptibark for the substrate. He/she has an Exoterra food dish for a water dish. It’s about 1 inch high. I feed her on another slate to aid in beak trimming. I have other pieces of slate on the Reptibark as well to trim her nails. I have fed him/her spring mix, romaine, red leaf, and green leaf so far. I’ve been looking for escarole and endive at Kroger’s but haven’t been able to find any yet. I take him/her outside for a walk everyday. Eats really good twice a day and poops everyday as well. Named her Agnes originally. Been calling her Agador the last few days because I feel like she’s a he. Originally I noticed a slit in the tail, but after taking this picture earlier, I am questioning if that is a pucker and it is, indeed, a female. I found a really informative post on here about sexing your Russian tortoise. Slit is a male, pucker is a female. Always tucking his/her tale in unless it’s pooping. I am thinking of putting her in a 40 gallon breeder that I have until I get the Low Boy so I can interact with him/her better.
It's more reliable to see the size and shape of the tail and oh hell...what's it called...it's either U shaped or V shaped over the cloaca and tail...that part of the plastron will tell you.and also Russians are escape artists so you really must make an inescapable enclosure
 

Grace-Sophia

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Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
337
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Oh my god! That enclosure is gorgeous! I'm going to have to hit my husband up to help me build something. I am leaning more towards male too. Do you just have one tortoise in there? Thank you for your reply and the information! I really appreciate it!
I agree with @Krista S , his tail seems to be on the longer side, so at the moment leaning more to male. Building somthing sounds like a fantastic idea! that way you can get the ideal setup for your tort that many manufacturerd “tortoise houses” do not provide.
 
Last edited:

BeardooWeirdoo

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
Yes, I just have 1 tortoise in there. He is a Hermann’s tortoise who just turned 2 years old. If you want more pictures or information about the enclosure for yourself or to show your husband, here is a thread I posted shortly after Dozer moved into his new house.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂
He's adorable! I've been on Menards website since we chatted earlier! Thank you for the thread.! Dozer has to be the happiest tortoise ever! Absolutely gorgeous!
 

Krista S

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Messages
832
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Saskatchewan
He's adorable! I've been on Menards website since we chatted earlier! Thank you for the thread.! Dozer has to be the happiest tortoise ever! Absolutely gorgeous!
Thank you for your kind words! I’m super excited to see what you come up with for an enclosure now!!
 

BeardooWeirdoo

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Joined
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Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
It's more reliable to see the size and shape of the tail and oh hell...what's it called...it's either U shaped or V shaped over the cloaca and tail...that part of the plastron will tell you.and also Russians are escape artists so you really must make an inescapable enclosure
Thank you for the reply!
It's more reliable to see the size and shape of the tail and oh hell...what's it called...it's either U shaped or V shaped over the cloaca and tail...that part of the plastron will tell you.and also Russians are escape artists so you really must make an inescapable enclosure
Thanks for your reply and advice!
 

BeardooWeirdoo

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
I agree with @Krista S , his tail seems to be on the longer side, so at the moment leaning more to male. Building somthing sounds like a fantastic idea! that way you can get the ideal setup for your tort that many manufacturerd “tortoise houses” do not provide.
I've been leaning toward male too! Thanks again for replying!
 
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