Tunisian or Libyan?

rattboy

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I think I need more input to understand how to ID these North African Graeca. I’ve gotten input from keepers with a lot of experience however the ID amongst 4 keepers was split down the middle. 2 say all Nabeulensis. 2 say all Cyrenaica.

There is so little published info on these two localities and tbh, there is mixed info there too.


They appear to be young to me so hard to say I can depend on size but all are around 5 inches. The male is slightly larger around 5.5 inches.

Anyone that can explain the morphological differences?

Each time I think I know, I start to feel like there are more classic traits but a lot of variability with both localities and potentially integration like with Terrapene.

What do you think these are?
 

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PA2019

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Are these animals for the photos in the USA? I have done extensive research into nabeuls (I have 3 confirmed yearlings from C. Leone) and most if not all actual nabeuls here in the USA arrived in the late 90's/early 2000's mixed in with other Libyan Greeks (besides a group in a zoo in the USA). Re-tracing the provenance of these animals would go a long way to helping to ascertain nabeul vs hybrid vs Cyrenaica. From the photos (especially the plastrons) I have mixed feelings about them being pure Nabeuls. One almost universal finding is the extensive black coloring to plastron. This can and does disappear with very old specimens of course. On the flip side, the face structure and light spot over the top of the head seems appropriate.

One of the issues with nabeuls in the USA is how much variability within the subspecies. Chris has light-colored and dark-colored specimens along with some that stay tiny while others that are larger. The group from the USA zoo I mentioned seem to be all very small and very drab in color with less color contrast than one would expect.
 

rattboy

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Thanks for your response. These are in US but while I am told these have been in the US for some time, I’m confident these are recent imports so it’s likely impossible to trace.
I’ve read Chris’s Nabeulensis post on HH and agree that these do not conform to the plastron described. These are small but I do not believe they are fully adult.
 

PA2019

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Thanks for your response. These are in US but while I am told these have been in the US for some time, I’m confident these are recent imports so it’s likely impossible to trace.
I’ve read Chris’s Nabeulensis post on HH and agree that these do not conform to the plastron described. These are small but I do not believe they are fully adult.
Have you spoken to Chris about these animals? There was a recent faunaclassifieds for a hatchling nabeul. The male the seller sent pictures of appeared to be a legit nabeul, but the female was more suspect (really old, most of the identifiable markings had disappeared). Chris thought the adult male appeared legit, but again without the exact provenance, even he wasn't certain. The adults of the hatchling being sold were older and were imported during the timeframe I mentioned above.

Here is the male, as you can tell, lots of variability within the subspecies, but a clearly darkened plastron.


image0.jpeg

image1.jpeg

Here is the female, carapace and overall shape more suspect, but again a very dark plastron with fading/wearing of the dark plastron edges.

image2.jpeg

image1.jpeg
 

rattboy

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I have reached out but realize this is his very busy season so I decided to post here.
 

rattboy

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Have you spoken to Chris about these animals? There was a recent faunaclassifieds for a hatchling nabeul. The male the seller sent pictures of appeared to be a legit nabeul, but the female was more suspect (really old, most of the identifiable markings had disappeared). Chris thought the adult male appeared legit, but again without the exact provenance, even he wasn't certain. The adults of the hatchling being sold were older and were imported during the timeframe I mentioned above.

Here is the male, as you can tell, lots of variability within the subspecies, but a clearly darkened plastron.


View attachment 328569

View attachment 328570

Here is the female, carapace and overall shape more suspect, but again a very dark plastron with fading/wearing of the dark plastron edges.

View attachment 328571

View attachment 328572
Interesting. That tortoise doesn’t look all too small either.
 

PA2019

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rattboy

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More food for thought. Link to a Facebook post from the TortoiseTrust showing rare in-situ pictures of nabeuls back in the early 90’s. Again, note the 2 plastron photos with extensive darkening of the plastron.

These definitely do not have dark plastron and while the male looks quite different from one of the females, they both have very similar plastron markings.
 

rattboy

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Have you spoken to Chris about these animals?

I managed to get the pics in front of Chris. He says they are not Nabeulensis. He believes they are young Cyrenaica. I’m pretty happy with that even though I wasn’t unhappy if they were to be Tunisians.
 

PA2019

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I managed to get the pics in front of Chris. He says they are not Nabeulensis. He believes they are young Cyrenaica. I’m pretty happy with that even though I wasn’t unhappy if they were to be Tunisians.

Okay well that settles it. Your group is beautiful and pure Cyrenaica still command a hefty price as they are hard to acclimate and produce initially. I hope you keep posting photos every once in a while to watch their adult patterns emerge.
 

rattboy

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Okay well that settles it. Your group is beautiful and pure Cyrenaica still command a hefty price as they are hard to acclimate and produce initially. I hope you keep posting photos every once in a while to watch their adult patterns emerge.
I will share the story. For now I just want to stabilize the group and ensure their survival. Once they grown some, I’ll post more. Thanks for you input!
 
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