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Testudo (Graeca) Zarudnyi

The chances of even seeing this animal, let alone owning one are very slim. It is an extremely rare tortoise which has a very restricted natural habitat consisting of a small area of Eastern Iran. In identical circumstances to T.Ibera this animal was originally described as an individual species in 1896 by Nikolski, before being relegated to another supposed Graeca species.

Little is known about its activities, diet or even its genetic make-up, although it is safe to assume that this species is definitely not a subspecies of T.Graeca, but is in fact a truly separate animal which requires much investigation.

The appearance of this animal can be best described as a cross between Ibera and Marginata. It is certainly a large animal of Marginata proportions and is completely melanistic. This tortoise could be mistaken at first glance as being a T.Marginata if it wasn’t for the absent marginal flaring and the head and eye shape of T.Ibera. However, this tortoise has quite a highly domed shell which is a characteristic of the North African Graeca.

As usual it has no tail spur, but possesses spurs on the rear thighs.

Gender Diversity


Identification in Brief

  • Large single spur on each upper rear thigh
  • No horny tip on the end of the tail
  • Broad, blunt head with large round eyes
  • High domed carapace
  • Very large overall size
  • Extremely melanistic carapace and skin


Unknown, although presumably the same as Testudo Graeca.