1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Dark spots on our sulcata

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Tacomytort, Sep 15, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Tacomytort

    Tacomytort New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    San Diego ca
    Hello!
    So we rescued our sulcata, Taco, about 3 months ago from our local animal shelter. He has adjusted quite well and we are thoroughly enjoying the experience of keeping a pet tortoise. When we rescued him the animal shelter did not know his age or much about him at all except where he was found. They didn’t even know he was male- I figured that one out on my own. I am wondering if anybody could possibly ballpark an age for me and maybe let me know what these dark spots are at the top of his shell? He did have an appointment with a vet set up by the shelter but I don’t think the vet had too much experience with reptiles. It was just a general “is it healthy” type appt.
    thank you in advance for any insight.
    Janelle View attachment 280543 View attachment 280544

    IMG_9802.jpg IMG_9806.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  2. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Tucson, AZ
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    That actually looks like a hybrid, a crossbreed of a Sulcata and a Desert Tortoise.

    It has the shell shape and color of a Sulcata, plus no nuchal scute, which the Sulcata doesn't have.

    The darker coloring of the head and legs resemble a Desert Tortoise. The scales on the legs are also smaller and smoother, which Desert Tortoises have.

    I've attached a pic of my Desert Tortoise and one of my Sulcata Tortoises, so you can see the comparisons that I mentioned. IMG_20190819_202732.jpeg 20190910_161303.jpeg
    KatApril and Chubbs the tegu like this.
  3. Chubbs the tegu

    Chubbs the tegu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    2,678
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ma
    Good call
  4. Tacomytort

    Tacomytort New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    San Diego ca
    That’s interesting. The animal shelter admitted they weren’t 100% certain of what kind of tortoise he was so you could very well be correct.
  5. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Sandstone mn
    He is a very good looking tort.
    Tacomytort likes this.
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    81,652
    Likes Received:
    54,290
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    I'm afraid your 'sulcata' isn't a sulcata, but a - I'm hesitant to say it because they're rare in the pet trade - but do a Google search for "chaco" tortoise and see if that doesn't better fit what you have. However, your tortoise looks to have a nuchal scute and chacos do not. @Markw84 ??

    The dark spots were caused by the tortoise rubbing his shell on something as he continually went under it. Nothing to worry about.
    Tacomytort likes this.
  7. Tacomytort

    Tacomytort New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    San Diego ca
    Whatever kind he is we adopted him solely to be part of our family and nothing else. No breeding or anything like that. Taco the Chaco has a nice ring to it though [emoji5]
    Turtle girl 98 likes this.
  8. Turtle girl 98

    Turtle girl 98 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    986
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Sandstone mn
    Yes it certainly has a nice ring. He is beautiful so glad you guys got a new family member [emoji4] my turtles aren't pets. They're family.
    Tacomytort likes this.
  9. SweetGreekTorts

    SweetGreekTorts Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Tucson, AZ
    The Chaco Tortoise is quite rare and there are a bunch of breeders I know who are trying to obtain them. I've seen them sell for $1,000 on the rare occasions that they are available.

    I'm not fully convinced this tortoise is a Chaco, but if it is, then you've got a very unique find!
    Tacomytort likes this.
Similar Threads: Dark spots
Forum Title Date
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Dark Spots on Carapace Scutes of CDT Mar 11, 2013
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Please help!!!! Desert tortoise peeing dark brown/ red!!!! ): Jun 16, 2018
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Darker shell Apr 7, 2016
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) spots on shell May 20, 2010

Share This Page