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Is this prickly pear?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Joma, Nov 8, 2018 at 6:42 AM.

  1. Joma

    Joma Member

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    Picture below. Thanks.

    B7D46B89-44CC-4560-9E6B-017384316C94.jpeg
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I've never seen a red variety, but the shape of the pads certainly does look like opuntia. Maybe it's just red because it's stressed. Looks like it may be more green down near the roots.
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  3. Joma

    Joma Member

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    Yes. I was wondering about the red too. It doesn’t have any spines so it would be easy for me to feed. All the “wild ones” around here are seriously armored.
  4. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Looks like Opuntia santa rita

    Common in Arizona, but would imagine you would see it in New Mexico.
    Gillian Moore, Cowboy_Ken and Will like this.
  5. Joma

    Joma Member

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    It should be safe to feed?
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  6. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My guess would be that yes, it should be fine to feed. Cactus has a tendency to help clean a tortoises guts out, be prepared for that and add more foods for the guy.
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  7. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ Never seen that color....., have seen some dying and they sorta looked purplish in color, usually they have worms eating them from inside out. We offer cactus on a regular basis.



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  8. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    IMG_0133.jpg Here is your tort food !
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  9. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, these are naturally a purple color. There are two or three varieties that are in Arizona that are purple colored. The santa rita has less spines - usually some true spines along the edges and more glocids in the pad centers. If you overwater them, they tend to become a lighter red/purple. When healthy they are striking with that deep purple!
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  10. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ Interesting......thank you.
  11. Joma

    Joma Member

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    Thank you. I actually took a closer look at the wild ones while I was out running this morning, and they too are partially red ...under their intense armor. I think they are Opuntia Polyancatha. would they be ok to feed?
    This cacti is not dying. It is healthy and has been growing for a few years in my garden.

    However, it seems the Santa Rita does not naturally grow at my altitude (7200 ft). Actually, when I was running this morning I took a closer look at the "wild ones" and they too are purple (with some green lower on the pad). I'm thinking the wild ones are plains prickly pear.
  12. Joma

    Joma Member

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    Yes. I have started to grow my own weeds too. Actually, that's the kids job :)
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