Hi, Chris. I have watched all of the videos and studied the diagrams in an attempt to determine the subspecies of my Hermann's tortoise. I am fairly certain that he/she is an Eastern, but there are several of the variations present that are suggestive of the Western. The "keyhole" is present on the 5th vertebral scute, the suprecaudal shield is divided, there is a black mark on the 4th vertebral scute, the line dividing something (can't think of the word you used) on the plastron makes a soft "u" shape rather than a "v" or zigzag, and the bright yellow cheek patch is present. Other than that, the other indicators point to Eastern. I am guessing that my tortoise is an Eastern with variations, but am concerned about the idea of having a bastard tortoise. I have no intention of breeding mine, but the reptile dealer that I purchased him/her from had quite a few for sale. Could you confirm the Eastern diagnosis? (It is driving me crazy that I cannot be certain after your very informative and specific research.) Thank you for taking the time to put these together.
Thanks for the very nice video. I actually first saw your video about identifying Eastern and Western Hermann in YouTube.
I got Herbie recently from a local pet store at a Black Friday. He is super cute. I was told that he' s born in California and about half a year old. He is now about half to one small finger size. I did some homework before purchase, and decided to get a male Western Hermann. Now after quite some reading, it appears to me Herbie is more likely an Eastern Hermann. I know it's still too early to tell gender, but I think Herbie could be a female. He only walks out of bush, when there are food or sun outside. He also has a relatively short tail. I guess you just never know till the last minute
Please let me kind if my guess is right. Thanks a lot!