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

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HermanniChris

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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]
 
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Bansh88

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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]
 

HermanniChris

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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
 
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Bansh88

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

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

HermanniChris

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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]
 

JAZ

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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
 

HermanniChris

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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:
 

Crazy1

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

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

HermanniChris

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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:
 

HermanniChris

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

Thank you Tracy:cool:
 

Flying Jenny

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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.
 

HermanniChris

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

No problem, enjoy!!
 

barbie69

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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?

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! =)
 

HermanniChris

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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
 

barbie69

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

HermanniChris said:
Hi,
your tortoises are all Testudo hermanni boettgeri, the eastern hermann's tortoise. Westerns, Testudo hermanni hermanni are much different.:D
-Chris
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;).
 

TestudoGeek

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

we should sticky this thread, really.
Josh?
 

Ozric

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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.

 

Heavy

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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:

 
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