Mating/Behavior Questions

Status
Not open for further replies.

travisgn

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
117
I am in need of everyone's vast expertise.

As some of you may recall a few weeks ago I got a pair of tortoises - sold to me as Greeks, but which turned out to be Russians - one male, one female. According to the previous owner, they have been together for over a year. Anyway, within a few days they had adjusted to their new home quite nicely. They eat well and are reasonably active as far as this inexperienced keeper can tell so far. In that time there was no aggressive behavior or attempt to mate by the male (Archimedes). After about a week that changed. For the last couple weeks he chases the female (Calypso) around quite a bit each day, making all of the classic mating overtures. He mounts her on occasion, though I'm not sure if he has any actual success. On a couple of occasions he has ceased the chase, only for Calypso to then follow him until he resumed. I took that to be a sign that she was interested and that he was not being overly aggressive. The last two days, however, as soon as I feed them their daily meal she rushes immediately from her burrow to the food, with him close at her heels. Only, he isn't interested in eating, he's interested in mating, and he makes it nearly impossible for her to eat. Today I took him out of the enclosure for a little while so that she could eat in peace.

Okay, so on to the questions:

1. Is all of this fairly normal?

2. At what point should I be worried about the aggressive behavior?

3. At what point should I consider separating them?

4. If it comes to separation, should I build a second enclosure and permanently separate them? Or should I simply limit the amount of time they are together?

This is my first experience with tortoises, and I am beginning to think that just getting one would have been the smarter choice, but I was impatient to get started. And I would love to have hatchlings if their mating is successful.

Oh, and just to throw it in there, he is 5" SCL, she is 6.5".

Thanks in advance!
Travis
 

egyptiandan

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
5,794
Location (City and/or State)
USA
If he's not letting her eat, than it's time to seperate them and only let him have access to her on a limited basis. It sounds like he may have been successful mating if she is now trying to ignore him. Letting her have time on her own will let her eat all she wants and bask as much as she wants to help with egg development. Be sure to add plenty of calcium to her diet at this time.

Danny
 

travisgn

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
117
Thanks so much!

How often should I let them be together at this point? Should I keep them permanently separated in the future except during the mating season (I'm not even sure how much of a 'season' they have, especially in captivity)? Or is it okay to put them back together at some point in the future?

I know I have a lot of questions, but I really appreciate the advice.
 

Terry Allan Hall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,009
Location (City and/or State)
The Republic O' Tejas
travisgn said:
Thanks so much!

How often should I let them be together at this point? Should I keep them permanently separated in the future except during the mating season (I'm not even sure how much of a 'season' they have, especially in captivity)? Or is it okay to put them back together at some point in the future?

I know I have a lot of questions, but I really appreciate the advice.

Seperating them, for at least few months. is one option, another is to get a few more females, so as to allow him his urges, whilst each female only has to put up w/ his "gleeful outlook" (;)) part of the time.

How big an enclosure are you keeping your two in?
 

travisgn

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
117
Right now they are in a 4' x 2' enclosure. A bit small for two, as it is, I'm sure. I built the enclosure with one adult in mind. I am thinking about basically mirroring the materials so that it is 4' x 4'. That depends on exactly what I do now with these two. If they are to be together permanently most of the time, I'd like to go with the 4' x 4' (not sure if that is big enough to add another female, though, and I certainly can't accommodate several more females). If not I'll just build a second 4' x 2' (or larger?) enclosure for the male. I have him in a plastic tote (32" x 20") temporarily.

I also take them outside and watch them a couple times a week, but a permanent outdoor enclosure is not an option in an apartment complex, unfortunately.
 

travisgn

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
117
Update: Considering the space I have available, I have conceived of a stackable enclosure frame that would have two identical 4' x 2' boxes. One would be on or near the floor, the other the height of a tall table so that the lower one can get plenty of light.

I still have the question, though, of how often I should let them be together, and under what circumstances? Should I put the male in the female's enclosure where she is more comfortable? The other way around? Should I put them together in a neutral territory? How often should I put them together and for how long? Should I do that all year or keep them entirely separated except during the mating season?

Again, a lot of questions, but I really appreciate any advice from experienced keepers.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top