Hoorsfields or Hermans

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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Joined: 27 Mar 2017, 10:43

Hoorsfields or Hermans

Post by andrewmooney » 29 Mar 2017, 15:36

Hi, In a previous post I've said that we will be getting a Horsfields tortoise. Just to be sure that a Horsfields would be best for us I just wanted to ask about the main differences between Hermanns and Horsfields in terms of suitability. I believe Horsfields are smaller, please can you confirm?. Also I believe that Hermanns may be able to cope with dampness slightly better, although I presume you'd maintain the substrate at the same levels of moisture regardless of which of the two species . But, which are most active, which is most hardy and which has the best temperament eg. less likely to mind being handled? Can either of them cope better with cooler temperatures when in an outdoor enclosure? Finally are there any other considerations in choosing one over the other?

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Re: Horsfields or Hermans

Post by Helen » 29 Mar 2017, 16:24

I have both species but my personal favourite is the Horsfield. They have such personable characters, and they definitely are the smaller of the two species. Horsfields come from the Eastern Mediterranean and Russian Steppes areas so their body physiology is geared to hot dry summers and exceptionally cold winters. They can tolerate extremes of weather very well, but they can't cope with prolonged damp conditions and are prone to Runny Nose Syndrome if left to fend for themselves in damp weather. On saying that my Horsfields have never had RNS and have free access to a heated and insulated dry area and on days like today, where we have dull weather, high precipitation levels and the odd rain shower, they look after themselves going in and out all day. Damp isn't a problem for any of mine.

Hermanns also are lovely tortoises and can cope better with damp but I never leave my Hermanns out in the damp to test. Like the Horsfields there is free access, in this case from a heated house within a greenhouse and free access to outside. Today the Horsfields have been in and out all day and the Hermanns have been tucked up inside, choosing not to venture out.

I think it's what works best for you. Perimeter fences need to be solid for both species but Horsfields may dig underneath so either a wire mesh base with the substrate on top is needed or the perimeter fence needs to be about 8" below the ground. For each species, highish sides are needed to prevent escape. I hope this helps with your thinking.

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