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Differentiating Male and Female Indotestudo forstenii (Forstenís tortoise) - Chris Tabaka DVM

Copyright © 2003 World Chelonian Trust. All rights reserved


At the time of this writing, Forstenís tortoises are a relatively uncommon species in the pet trade in the United States.  However, they do still pop up on occasion in various places.

 

An original World Chelonian Trust care sheet on this species can be found at: Forstenís Tortoise Ė Indotestudo forstenii © - Darrell Senneke and Chris Tabaka DVM

 

An original World Chelonian Trust guide for differentiating Forstenís tortoises from Elongated tortoises can be found at: Differentiating Indotestudo forstenii from  Indotestudo elongata - Chris Tabaka DVM

 

Pictured below are a pair of Forstenís tortoises.  In my experience, the males are more outgoing (note the extended head in the male on the left).  The body shapes are also a bit different with the males being longer and thinner with an obvious waist.  Females tend to be more rotund and ovoid in appearance such as the female on the right.  This is very similar to the body shape of adult redfooted tortoises (http://www.chelonia.org/sexing/sexing_Geochelone_carbonaria.htm

 

 

On top of the overall shape differences, male and female Forstenís tortoises have other differences as well.  Note the extremely long tail as well as the plastron concavity in the male on the left below.  Also note his anal scutes which form a V shape.  In the female on the right, note the short stubby tail, the completely flat plastron, and the anal scutes that are designed through millions of years of evolution to allow easier egg laying.

 

 

The picture below helps show the concavity in the male on the left as well as the flat plastron in the female on the right.  It also highlights the differences in the anal scutes between the two animals.

 

 

On the left is the male with his long thick tail and V shaped anal scutes.  On the right note the short sunken tail as well as the egg shaped anal scutes.

 

Male Indotestudo forstenii

Female Indotestudo forstenii

 

Below are further images depicting their differences.

Male Indotestudo forstenii

Female Indotestudo forstenii

 

Below are more images depicting their shape differences.

Male Indotestudo forstenii

Female Indotestudo forstenii

 

As a different twist on things, note the radiographs below (the radiographs were taken to assess their GI tracts which contained a moderate amount of sand material).  The numerous vertebrae of the maleís tail are noted on the left and the shorter tail/vertebrae in the female on the right.  Also note the wide hips in the female in the radiograph.

    

Male Indotestudo forstenii

Female Indotestudo forstenii


 

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