General Information

The Russian tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii)

**The following information is meant to give the novice keeper a BASIC place to start with the species. More information (web links, infographics, recommended books, etc.) can be found on the RESOURCES section of the website. **

The Russian tortoise is the current pet industry’s hot-must-have-tortoise. Collected from the wilds of Uzbekistan, the Russian tortoise inhabits Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, China and Kazakhstan. It is found in sparse deserts and dry landscapes. In its natural environment, the tortoise is active several months of the year. Female Russian tortoises are full-grown at 8-10 inches and males 6-8 inches.

Housing Information

In the wild, Russian tortoises are found in sparse deserts and dry landscapes. The enclosure should match its natural environment at close as possible. Fresh water, a place to burrow and shade are required.

Read the enclosure information page for basic indoor and outdoor enclosure guidelines and browse the picture gallery for ideas.

Feeding Information

A grazing tortoise, Russians like broad leaf plants, a variety of weeds, leaves and flowers.

Many commercial foods are starting to appear on store shelves. None of these foods represent a complete diet. Some are detrimental to your tortoise’s health. Do the research to really understand and be able to provide a correct diet.