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Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's Discussion thread

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by HermanniChris, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    I made these diagrams a while ago using my own animals so here they are again for anyone who is confused when it comes to differentiating Hermann's tortoises.

    TESTUDO HERMANNI BOETTGERI VS. TESTUDO HERMANNI HERMANNI

    Many people find it quite difficult to differentiate the eastern and western subspecies of the Hermanns tortoise (Testudo hermanni). For years it was believed that the Western race (Testudo hermanni hermanni) was separated from the Eastern race (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) by characteristics like a divided suprecaudal shield or the jet black bands on the plastron. While these features can help, it is by no means limited to this as both subspecies can exhibit them. Today all over the world "breeders" and dealers offer hermanns tortoises for sale. Many are captive bred babies while others are imported wild caught animals which are loaded with parasites. Lately individuals offer "western hermanns tortoises" for sale and more than 9 times out 10 they are not the real thing. In the following diagrams I illustrate through photos of my own tortoises how to properly tell the difference between the 2 subspecies. Just because your tortoise has a lot of black on the plastron does not mean it's a western hermanns tortoise!!

    Enjoy everyone!
    Sincerely,
    Chris Leone

    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th5.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th2.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th3.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th4.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th10.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th7.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th8.jpg[/img]
    [img=640x480]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/Loonacris/th12.jpg[/img]
  2. Bansh88

    Bansh88 Guest

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    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    Wow. Lots of info. I always thought the Eastern race was a more dull brown color and the black/yellow was Western.
    Can you tell me what you htink with my 2? I would say most of the descriptions lean towards Western, but there are some Eastern similarities.
    Right now, these are the best pics I have.

    [IMG=640x480]http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n129/Bansh88/Tortoises/P8260038.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG=640x480]http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n129/Bansh88/Tortoises/P8260037.jpg[/IMG]
  3. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    yours are 100% EASTERNS, testudo hermanni boettgeri. The westerns are a very sharp yellow/black, and are extremely rare. Hope this helps:D
  4. Bansh88

    Bansh88 Guest

    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    Thanks.
    Whereabouts would the Easterns be from? East Europe or Germany?
  5. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    Easterns or "Boettger's" tortoises are found throughout Europe, primarily in Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and several other areas. Westerns or "Italian" tortoises are completely restricted to Italy, France and a very tiny section of Spain.[/align]
  6. JAZ

    JAZ New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    Wow! Your differentiation page was better than anything I've seen
    in currently printed turtle manuals. Thanks-jo
  7. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: WESTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE vs. EASTERN HERMANN'S TORTOISE

    Thank you so so so much I really appreciate it.:cool:
  8. Crazy1

    Crazy1 Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Chris,
    Wonderful explainations and visuals of the differences.
    Thank you , Thank you
  9. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    No problem at all, these tortoises are my life and I enjoy educating others about them as much as I can.:cool:
  10. Iluvemturts

    Iluvemturts New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Thanks Chris for the diagram.....you rock!
  11. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Thank you Tracy:cool:
  12. Flying Jenny

    Flying Jenny New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    This is great- now I actually know which subspecies I have (Eastern).

    What a fantastic bit of info. Thank you Chris.
  13. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    No problem, enjoy!!
  14. barbie69

    barbie69 New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    I am new here and I am really enjoying all the info I am finding about torts! I currently have 4 hermann's torts and was wondering if you could tell me if the three in the pic are the same species, or do I possibly have both eastern and western?
    The top of the pic is my female I purchased as a wc and the other two were cb so I thought that was the difference in their appearance. I would love to have a second opinion though if you wouldn't mind taking a look please?
    [​IMG]
    I have more pics and please excuse the mess, I was cleaning but I got distracted watching them play follow the leader and ended up taking pics first. lol
    Thanks for looking! =)
  15. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member TFO Sponsor 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Hi,
    your tortoises are all Testudo hermanni boettgeri, the eastern hermann's tortoise. Westerns, Testudo hermanni hermanni are much different.:D
    -Chris
  16. barbie69

    barbie69 New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Thank you very much!:D I was told they all were the same species but the wild caught female looked so different to me I was concerned they might not be. If only I could locate more females I would be set :shy:. This pic was taken at the beginning of a cage cleaning where they all were put together for just a few moments....as you can see the female is running for cover and the boys are chasing her. I thought the little one in the back was a female until about 2 months ago and now I am sure he is a male:(. He will be the one to go to live with my friend. I still have visitation though;).
  17. TestudoGeek

    TestudoGeek New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    we should sticky this thread, really.
    Josh?
  18. Ozric

    Ozric New Member 10 Year Member! 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    If we are all posting some Hermanns pics then let me squeeze in this slightly impressionistic one I took of my little Westerns.

    [​IMG]
  19. Heavy

    Heavy New Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    It's most full information about differentiating Hermann's tortoises I ever seen!
    I thought my tortoise is boettgeri. Please tell me, am I right?
    Here some photos:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  20. GBtortoises

    GBtortoises Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    RE: Western Hermann's vs. Eastern Hermann's

    Yes, you are right. Great looking tortoise too!
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