Parrot beaked padloper - what sex?

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JeannineD

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I live in the South Western Cape in South Africa. I have a large indigenous garden filled with fynbos which is home to a thriving population of angulate tortoises. The angulates come and go at will and most are familiar to us, my kids have named them. The little fellow in the pictures arrived in our back garden just over a year ago, he lives in the area around the compost heap which is very bushy and has lots of food. We see him about 3 times a week and he is a really friendly little chap – he takes Hibiscus flowers from us and loves to have his chin tickled. This is quite unlike the angulates who are wild and don’t like attention or handling. I keep calling him ‘he’, if fact we have named him Jeb, but I am not sure of his sex. Also, he is the only one of his kind in the garden, by googling I think he is a parrot beaked padloper. Can anyone confirm and maybe help with the sex. He seems very happy in his own little territory but I am worried he may get lonely.
 

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tortadise

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Looks like a female to.me. They are happiest by themselves. Beautiful tortoise. Wjen If you ever finda male. During breeding season they will turn red on their shell, and their beak and legs. Its quite fascinating.
 

JeannineD

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tortadise said:
Looks like a female to.me. They are happiest by themselves. Beautiful tortoise. Wjen If you ever finda male. During breeding season they will turn red on their shell, and their beak and legs. Its quite fascinating.
Thanks for the response, I guess Jeb will become Jem. Wow! The breeding season reddening sounds fascinating. I would love it if a male wandered in, it would be fantastic to have some baby padlopers. Glad to know she is happiest on her own, she has show no sign of wanting to leave the garden at all and stays in quite a small area (about 10 metres squared). Spends a lot of time under bushes and rocks and loves hiding deep under branches in the compost heap.
 

tortadise

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JeannineD said:
tortadise said:
Looks like a female to.me. They are happiest by themselves. Beautiful tortoise. Wjen If you ever finda male. During breeding season they will turn red on their shell, and their beak and legs. Its quite fascinating.
Thanks for the response, I guess Jeb will become Jem. Wow! The breeding season reddening sounds fascinating. I would love it if a male wandered in, it would be fantastic to have some baby padlopers. Glad to know she is happiest on her own, she has show no sign of wanting to leave the garden at all and stays in quite a small area (about 10 metres squared). Spends a lot of time under bushes and rocks and loves hiding deep under branches in the compost heap.

You are very lucky to have those guys walking around in your garden. Baby padlopers are just so awesome. So so tiny. She sounds like shes in the right place. Get some cactus growing and she will love it. Do you ever see any Speckled Cape Padlopers?
 

JeannineD

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tortadise said:
JeannineD said:
tortadise said:
Looks like a female to.me. They are happiest by themselves. Beautiful tortoise. Wjen If you ever finda male. During breeding season they will turn red on their shell, and their beak and legs. Its quite fascinating.
Thanks for the response, I guess Jeb will become Jem. Wow! The breeding season reddening sounds fascinating. I would love it if a male wandered in, it would be fantastic to have some baby padlopers. Glad to know she is happiest on her own, she has show no sign of wanting to leave the garden at all and stays in quite a small area (about 10 metres squared). Spends a lot of time under bushes and rocks and loves hiding deep under branches in the compost heap.

You are very lucky to have those guys walking around in your garden. Baby padlopers are just so awesome. So so tiny. She sounds like shes in the right place. Get some cactus growing and she will love it. Do you ever see any Speckled Cape Padlopers?
There are quite a few succulents in her area and I have seen tiny bites out of them, so good tip about loving a cactus. We mostly have Angulates here, they are prolific. I've had a leopard pop in for a week or so before moving on, and then the little padloper. There is one other which I cannot identify. I will attach a pic in case you can help - it was tiny, you can see it in relation to the beer bottle cap.
 

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mctlong

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Wow Jeanine, you're very lucky to have such awesome little critters wander through your yard!!!
 

JeannineD

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It is a joy to have them wander through the garden. At first we just viewed them as cute critters, but now we are becoming more and more interested in them - almost obsessed! Wow Kelly! I am thrilled to find out that is a speckled padloper, I have never seen it again since taking the pic. But it is so tiny years could go by without a viewing. I am just going to keep my garden indigenous and let them have at it!
 

tortadise

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Its fantastic indeed. If you ever venture to Namaqualand you will see quite the cool animals their too. The tents are great. Im so jealous of your backyard. :D keep them safe for sure. South Africa has a wide variety of tortoises but found in small regional areas and oh so delicate to become very endangered. Good thing RSA has strict enforcements on them. Well the leos and angulates are always everywhere of course :D such a nice problem to have.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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To your original question yes, it is a Parrot beak tortoise, Homopus areolatus. And I agree with Kelly, that it is female.

I guess you have the fun of what most bird watchers do at a feeder in their backyard, only the much cooler tortoise version.

Have fun.

Will
 

CourtneyG

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Back in South Africa my mum and her friend took care of 30+ tortoises that were confiscated and could not be returned to the wild. You are very lucky to have such a nice selection of wild ones in the yard.


I have 2 Padloopers but Americans call them pancakes over here.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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CourtneyG said:
Back in South Africa my mum and her friend took care of 30+ tortoises that were confiscated and could not be returned to the wild. You are very lucky to have such a nice selection of wild ones in the yard.


I have 2 Padloopers but Americans call them pancakes over here.



Americans call Malacochersus = pancakes, and Homopus = padloppers.

Don't know what a padlooper is.

Just being an American.

Will
 

JeannineD

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Will said:
To your original question yes, it is a Parrot beak tortoise, Homopus areolatus. And I agree with Kelly, that it is female.

I guess you have the fun of what most bird watchers do at a feeder in their backyard, only the much cooler tortoise version.

Have fun.

Will
Thanks for the info Will - I like your feeder analogy, I am a tortoise watcher (definitely cooler!). I really enjoyed your posts on your trip to SA with the pics of Angulates etc. Prince Albert is a beautiful town and the Swartberg Pass has to be one of the most spectacular drives in the world (a bit biased).


CourtneyG said:
I don't know the difference, just what my Afrikaan parents call my two i have.
Hi Courtney, I have just checked out the pancake tortoise - quite beautiful and bizarre! Will is right, it does not look like the padloper, much flatter. I see there is a population of pancakes in Zim, that seems to be the closest area in which I might come across one in the wild. I guess your folks call yours pannekoek tortoises!
 

CourtneyG

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We got them in Pretoria and Durban, occasionally in the outskirts of Johannesburg. Here is a pic of my two. ImageUploadedByTortoiseForum1365729875.160605.jpg


Believe it or my my male is called Pannekoek, my female is Aarbei, and hopefully we will get strawberry pancakes running around soon.


We call them Padlooper because they run so fast.
 
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