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Female marginated tortoise has become aggressive

charlygal123

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
62
Location (City and/or State)
Kent UK
Hi my female marginated has lived with her (friend) another female but a Greek spur thigh for 13 years, they both woke early from hibernation this year and all is well except my marginated has become aggressive at times to the other female. Do you think it’s a space issue as they are in the spare bedroom in a huge bookcase but they are used to much more room when outside, obviously! I have separated them so one is in the book case and the other is now roaming the room and I switch the light every couple of hours (I’ll get another lamp this week on payday) other than the ubove she seems fine. Eating well, toileting well. Not dehydrated so I can’t think what else could be the problem any ideas? I’m thinking it’s just a space issue but not long till they can go back outside to the heated enclosure but it’s not warm enough for them yet still another month or maybe two I reckon even with the lamps on out there
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Jun 12, 2018
Messages
912
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Tortoises actually don't do well being housed in pairs. Not social animals and don't need or want friends. So any other tortoise is seen as an invader of their space. That's why your female marginated is acting aggressively. I recommend keeping them separated as the problem won't go away. Just their nature.
 

charlygal123

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
62
Location (City and/or State)
Kent UK
Tortoises should not be kept in pairs, and species should never be mixed.

Please also give this a read-
https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/“Can-I-let-my-tortoise-roam-the-floor?”.173083/
Yes you guys are both right I've had to separate them. I think because they are both at mating ages now they just wanna fight all the time. Well actually my marginated girl likes to attack my greek spur thigh and then she retaliates. Nightmare so we have separated my garden in two and they are both happy. Thanks for the advice
 

Yvonne G

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Jan 23, 2008
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Clovis, CA
It might be that the marginated is ready to be bred then lay eggs. Females do get aggressive at this time.
 

tglazie

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5 Year Member
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Jul 21, 2010
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609
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
Yeah, in my experience, female marginated tortoises can often be just as aggressive as the males, and they don't need to be carrying eggs to behave this way. My largest girl, Lady Gino, is an absolute terror anytime I introduce her to the other girls in my group. I even have to supervise her when she's placed with Little Gino, her mate, for conjugal. She will tolerate him for a little while, but once she grows casually accustomed to his territory (a process that typically will take no longer than forty five minutes), she will begin to trade blows with Little Gino, rather than simply sustaining them or attempting to flee his aggressive actions. One time she flipped him over when his hemipenis was exposed, made an immediate about face and started biting his hind legs. Had I not intervened, I swear she would've bitten him right in the turkey baster. I don't trust that tortoise to be alone with any other tortoise. She's just got this killer instinct when it comes to others of her kind, she's larger than the others, and she just doesn't stop.

Interestingly enough, I've found with marginated tortoises that the more dominant the animal is, the more outgoing, the more "social" they are with their keepers, the more likely they are to be highly aggressive in their interactions with other tortoises. Now, I've found all tortoises to be capable of aggression and, therefore, to greater or lesser extent, aggressive. But female marginateds, I've noticed, are particularly so. The shy ones who flee when you approach and act like little wild ladies, they tend to be more outwardly demure, I find, but my favorite girls, the ones who are most privileged by my time and not my distance for need of their privacy, the girls who will dig into a pile of mulberry leaves while I stand a few feet away, those girls are the mean girls.

But yes, the solution here is as outlined by everyone else. Keep them separated. Nothing I've noticed to be wrong with keeping these beasts on their own. The girl playing defense will certainly appreciate it.

T.G.
 
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Afbhappy

New Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
San diego ca
Yeah, in my experience, female marginated tortoises can often be just as aggressive as the males, and they don't need to be carrying eggs to behave this way. My largest girl, Lady Gino, is an absolute terror anytime I introduce her to the other girls in my group. I even have to supervise her when she's placed with Little Gino, her mate, for conjugal. She will tolerate him for a little while, but once she grows casually accustomed to his territory (a process that typically will take no longer than forty five minutes), she will begin to trade blows with Little Gino, rather than simply sustaining them or attempting to flee his aggressive actions. One time she flipped him over when his hemipenis was exposed, made an immediate about face and started biting his hind legs. Had I not intervened, I swear she would've bitten him right in the turkey baster. I don't trust that tortoise to be alone with any other tortoise. She's just got this killer instinct when it comes to others of her kind, she's larger than the others, and she just doesn't stop.

Interestingly enough, I've found with marginated tortoises that the more dominant the animal is, the more outgoing, the more "social" they are with their keepers, the more likely they are to be highly aggressive in their interactions with other tortoises. Now, I've found all tortoises to be capable of aggression and, therefore, to greater or lesser extent, aggressive. But female marginateds, I've noticed, are particularly so. The shy ones who flee when you approach and act like little wild ladies, they tend to be more outwardly demure, I find, but my favorite girls, the ones who are most privileged by my time and not my distance for need of their privacy, the girls who will dig into a pile of mulberry leaves while I stand a few feet away, those girls are the mean girls.

But yes, the solution here is as outlined by everyone else. Keep them separated. Nothing I've noticed to be wrong with keeping these beasts on their own. The girl playing defense will certainly appreciate it.

T.G.
That is a really great outline, Id say, of marginated torts in my experience @tglazie! Thanks for sharing. I have a (most likely) male marginated, and as he is coming into his manhood he has turned from docile to hostile in the past few months. He seems to treat my bare feet and hands like opposing tortoises, charging and snapping. It happens all over they house, not just in his area. Ive actually taken him on a couple times to assert my dominance, stepping on his toes with my toes untill he backs off haha. He is generally on the outgoing side with me and other humans, so your observation rings true on my end.
 
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