Golden Greek Tortoise (T. terrestris / floweri)
|Spotted Pattern Male||Patternless Male|
The Golden Greek Tortoise group is a somewhat confusing group to identify. Starting in the 90's, several shipments of near-patternless yellowish tortoises came into the country under the name "Golden Greeks". These first specimens varied between near solid cream to pale yellow specimens with maybe a few black center scute dots, to individuals that were solid pale yellow, to a very few that were yellow with peach overtones. These were highly prized for their unique coloration and for awhile several importations landed in the United States. Unfortunately most came in with respiratory problems and overall did poorly and were lost to herpetoculture.
After these initial shipments of golden specimens, the collectors moved on
to other locales, where the T. terrestris were less and less golden color and
more heavily marked with the more typical dark Greek tortoise markings. Some of
these plainer specimens have come into the country over the years but due to
their less attractive coloration, most have disappeared into the pet trade. With the opening of Libya in 2005-6, a few more of the classic "Golden"
colored Golden Greeks entered the country. Luckily, interests in
captive breeding are at an all time high so these have mostly gone to breeders
to try to finally establish this unique species in North American herpetoculture. The most recently imported groups vary between the
types described above to ones that are heavily patterned in the typical "Greek"
black "C" pattern, to ones with the black markings replaced with rich
mahogany brown over a peach tinted shell. Many also had the classic black
mask that the originally described "taxonomic type" specimens were
described as having.
We've predominately set up the high peach phase specimens, selecting both near-patternless and spotted individuals as our foundation group. These have a very distinct peach tint to both the skin and shells that in some specimens almost glows! The effect is extremely difficult to capture in a photograph as the peach coloration seems to come out more tannish. Adult size varies by locale and as these specimens are from an as yet unknown locale, we can only guess as too the final adult size. Most our males are between 4 1/2" and 5 1/2", and 7"+ for our females.
All of our initial stock were subadults and took a few years to mature. We produced our first fertile eggs in 2008 and our girls are slowly maturing. We consolidated our two breeding groups in one higher contrast group in 2012, selling off our darker individuals. Currently we are working with 7.9 breeding age Goldens sporting mostly clear yellow shells with just the central scute black dot and thin black scute margins. We're still looking for more breeding stock to increase our colony but animals of the same type are hard to come by. We plan on continuing to purchase select groups of Goldens if and when they enter the country so we can set up the best breeding groups possible. So we hope to have a few extras available for re-sale off and on. Please check back periodically or e-mail us to get on our "Wanted" list if you're looking for breeding stock or a companion animal yourself. We also hope to have small numbers of hatchlings available again in mid to late summer so lets us know in advance if a hatchling is on your wish list.
Please see our "Tortoise Care Sheet" for care information before purchasing any Golden Greeks from us.
We ship based on the prevailing weather patterns between us and you. Usually we can ship most weeks, but when large storms/severe heat or cold are forecasted, we prefer to hold off. Please see "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Prices" for ordering information.
Copyright © 1992-2012
Copyright © 1992-2012by Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text