Marginated Tortoise (Testudo marginata) is a beautiful species of tortoise that occurs primarily in the southern parts of Greece and Italy, with a few isolated populations on islands in those areas. Its range overlaps with that of the Hermann’s tortoise (T. hermanni) in some areas, but wild specimens of the two are not known to hybridize to any major extent (unlike in captivity, where marginated tortoises have been known to hybridize with various other species, including Hermann’sRussian [T. horsfieldii] and Greek [T. graeca] tortoises).

Marginated tortoises are quite prolific in captivity and captive-bred babies are commonly available in the U.S. They are also produced in large numbers in Europe.
Adult marginated tortoises are recognized most easily by the intense flaring of the rear of their shells, somewhat resembling a skirt. Juvenile shell coloration is contrasting black and pearly white; the intensity of this coloration fades over time, sometimes to a nearly universal dark gray. The skin of babies and adults is primarily black, sometimes with pearly white highlights on top of their heads.

The species’ wild habitat is mostly arid, and marginated tortoises can be found at elevations up to 5,000 feet, and in some very cold areas. The dark shell color helps individuals to warm up in the sun during the morning hours, and they will retreat to shade and shelter during the hottest parts of the day.


Hatchling, Well Started Baby, Yearling, Young Adult


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