6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
MARGINATED TORTOISE Caresheet
Common Names: Marginated Tortoise
Scientific Name: Testudo marginata
Origin: Native to southern Greece with pocket populations in southern Italy, the Balkins, and the region.
Lifespan: 20+ years
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of caring for this species.
In the wild, the Marginated Tortoise lives in mostly arid, higher elevations. They can roam a large territory.
In captivity, large secure outdoor enclosures are ideal if you live in a favorable climate. They like to move around. For adults kept indoors, the larger the enclosure the better, a minimum size of 2" x 4". " But it is important to let your turtle out to explore in your home. They don't like being cooped up.
Because they like to burrow, a good substrates are mixture of Zoo Med eco earth, eco terra coco husk, or Zoo Med forest floor around 6" deep for adults. Keep it clean and dry. These Tortoises are susceptible to respiratory and other disorders if they're kept in damp environments.
Provide tight hiding places, hides, ceramic caves, or other cover for them to take shelter in.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
You'll want to keep your enclosures ambient temperature around 75 degrees with night time temperature drop only down to 70 degrees. A basking spot of 85-90 degrees should also be provided at one end of the enclosure. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure.
They will need a UVB light to help properly process calcium and to synthesize vitamin D3. Since they are not out in natural sunlight in our homes, we must provide UVB light in the form of a special fluorescent bulb designed to produce UVB rays. The best bulbs are the mercury vapors such as Exo Terra's Solar Glo bulbs, ZooMed's Powersun, or Solar bright bulbs. These bulbs provide heat and UVB all in one bulb. You can also use separate basking (heat) bulb and UVB bulbs. If you use these, you will want the Zoo Med 10.0 or Exo Terra UVB 150 variety.
For young Marginated Tortoises, it's important to keep them hydrated. Babies have been known to drown in water bowls that are too deep. Keep a shallow bowl in the enclosure. But it's very important to soak babies in a by hand in a shallow bowl of room temperature water every morning for approximately 15 minutes. This is the best way to help them stay hydrated.
Adults get the majority of their water from the leafy greens they eat. However we still suggest a water bowl in the enclosure. So they can drink if so inclined.
Marginated Tortoises are herbivores consuming mainly leafy greens, along with grasses and flowers. Pesticide free. Some vegetables are okay.
You can top off your greens with zilla dried vegetable mix. Make sure to coat the greens with calcium and vitamins mix such as Repashy Superveggie.
Marginated Tortoises are friendly and fun to watch. They will learn to recognize you and come to you for food or a head rub.