Hermann's Tortoise

Hermann tortoise
Richard Bailey/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Scientific Name:

Testudo hermanni

Other Names:

They may sometimes be called a Mediterranean tortoise. Hermann's tortoise is considered part of a group of tortoises sometimes called Mediterranean tortoises, comprised of multiple Testudo species - including Hermann's tortoise, and the spur-thighed tortoise.

Life Span:

Up to 75 years or more.


6-8 inches.


Diet should consist largely of leafy greens and grasses, supplemented with a variety of other vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, etc.) and fruits (apples, apricots, grapes, melons, peaches, strawberries etc.) in smaller quantities. In the wild, they will take some insects, slugs, and carrion, but feeding of these is not necessary and too much animal protein is harmful (never feed dog or cat food).


Use a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement on the food.

Housing - Outdoors:

House outdoors if possible. Daytime temperatures should be 80-86 F (27-30 C), and can fall to 65-70 F (18-21 C) at night. These small tortoises are pretty active and can climb and burrow well, so the pen should be escape-proof. Shelter from extremes of weather is necessary, as is protection from predators. A shallow pan of water can be sunk into the ground for easy access.

Housing - Indoors:

A fairly large enclosure is necessary (2 feet by 4 feet). A soil/sand mix or cypress bark can be used as a substrate. A basking light should pre-provided (with a basking spot at about 95 F or 35 C), with the ambient temperatures in the range mentioned above. A shallow pan of water should be provided.


Needs to hibernate - but only if otherwise healthy.

Care Sheets Online:

  • Hermann's Tortoise - by Michael J. Connor of the California Turtle and Tortoise Club. Good introduction to the care of this species.
  • Mediterranean Tortoise Care Sheet - off the Slowcoach Tortoise site, a thorough care guide to Mediterranean tortoises including Hermann's tortoise. Included are some photos to distinguish Hermann's from spur-thighed tortoises.
  • Hermann's Tortoises - by Darrell Senneke, a brief care sheet.
  • Vivarium for Mediterranean Hatchlings - by Bob Elliot, a description of a suitable enclosure for raising Mediterranean tortoise hatchlings.

More Tortoise Information