Again thank you for all the great info. With my research I have confusion related to the redfoot or cherryhead. I have seen cherry foot, redfoot, cherryhead redfoot and mostly likely other names as well.
I think I understand that cherryhead (without redwood in the name) is possibly the smallest. Is there a good resource that lists the scientific name so I don't mistakenly but the wrong specis?
Cherryheads aren't always so small. I think the largest one is almost 18". Read about them in the red foot section - there is a lot of debate over whether they should be advertised as smaller than northern red foots at all (maybe they're a little slower growing, maybe they are able to breed at a smaller size, maybe they are smaller on average but large sizes are still possible). Getting cherry heads hoping they'll stay under 12" or 10" is a gamble. I've seen many places advertise their adult size as 8"-10", but there is zero guarantee of that because there are many adults much larger.
Cherryheads and Redfoots are pretty much the same, they just come from different areas of the world The Cherryheads also have a leg spur that the Reds dont have and I believe their plastrons are different colored too.
They require a good amount of humidity. I live in Miami, where its ALWAYS humid, I chose this species because its easier to care for them in my climate.
I personally think a good "starter tortoise" is a Russian, they dont get huge and their care isnt difficult. I have both, and so far my Russian guy is a breeze to care for