Testudo Kleinmanni - Described by Lortet in 1883 - has several common names... the Egyptian tortoise, the minature tortoise and the Kleinmann tortoise. This is a coastal species, never found any more than 100km from the sea.
This litle tortoise has unfortunately become very rare over the last couple of decades and is now bordering on extinction. It's natural range is limited to northern Egypt, western Negev, Israel and northern Cyrenaica, Libya. Despite conservation efforts from groups such as the Tortoise Trust, it is still being exploited for the black market pet trade and tourist trades - often resulting in the deaths of animals to make a macabre musical instrument out of their carapaces.
The level of melanin present in their shells, along with their overall colouration varies between individuals depending on their location. Animals living in red-coloured sandy enviroments often have a red-pink hue to their shells.
Whereas the usual colour of these specimens is a very light green-yellow. None of these tortoises have any distinct dark blotches or markings on their carapace, with the exception of a very thin black line around the perimeter of each individual scute. However, some specimens don't even have this, thus their overall appearance is very light and bland.
One of the most easily recognisable features of this animal is it's overall dimensions, as most full grown specimens are only between 10 and 12cm in length. Infact the largest recorded animal was only 12.7cm. Other characteristics include a flexible hind plastral lobe (in both sexes), an extra wide nuchal scute and a high domed shape to the carapace. The plastron is also very light in colour, but features a single dark triangular splodge on both abdominal scutes. It lacks any thigh spurs or tail spurs as seen in T.Graeca and T.Hermanni respectively, and can have either a single or a divided supracaudal scute.
The main differences between the sexes in this animal are body size and body shape. Males are dimensionally smaller than females with a narrower waist and rear marginal flaring (although not in anywhere near the same diversity as T.Marginata).
The males also feature a longer and thicker tail than their female companions.
The male plastron is concave whereas the female's is flat.
Housing : Both outdoor and indoor/greenhouse accomodation
Substrate : Sandy
Planting : Cacti, grasses & weeds
Diet : Herbivorous
Hibernation : No
Other : These animals cannot tolerate cold or damp.
They must have year-round heated accomodation
They cannot be hibernated