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Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 31/08/2009 by Retroman

Why hello,

I recently purchased two T.H Hermanni hatchlings, or so I was told.

However, after posting pictures of them on a reputable forum..all of the well experienced members informed me of the fact that they were 100% sure my tortoises weren't T.H Hermanni..but almost certainly T.H Boettgeri.

After informing the person who originally sold them, they insisted that I "seek a vetinary specialist since the forum people don't know everything" and were adamant they were T.H Hermanni.

Anyhow, before I seek this said vetinary specialist in order to get in writing exactly which Hermann's they are, I was wondering if I could get a second opinion from any helpful members here?

Thankyou kindly.

Re: Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 31/08/2009 by tpgarlene


Well I would say that these dont look like THH either, but as 'forum people dont know everything' <g> maybe you could contact Andy Highfield of the Tortoise Trust and ask for his opinion.  Is the person you bought these tortoises from a breeder or were they imported from abroad? THH are not common in the UK, and I dont know of any breeders who are breeding and selling them TBH,

all the best

Arlene TPG

Re: Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 31/08/2009 by Retroman

They were indeed UK captive bred, I went to the sellers home to choose which of the hatchlings I wanted..everything seemed above board at the time.

Unfortunately my T.H Hermanni identifying skills were non existant, and I trusted the person's information since 1. They claimed to have been breeding for ten years or more and 2. They'd sold to some other members of the forum supposedly, and i'd heard no sign of complaint.

However, it seems that I could have quotes from the entire online population saying that they aren't T.H Hermanni and still the seller would refuse to accept it. So i'm going to have to seek a vet as they suggested, so at least then I have proof.

Thankyou for the feedback, it's much appreciated.

Re: Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 31/08/2009 by Ozric

Hi!  I saw your post on the other forum and I know you feel disappointed.  I'm really just a beginner at identifying Hermanns but I've been keeping some of the western subspecies for a few years now.  It was really by chance that I got one of that subspecies and when I wanted more of them I found its very very difficult to buy them in the UK unless you want one imported from Turkey.

 Chris who says your tortoises are not T. Hermanni Hermanni  really is as close to an expert on this subspecies that there is just about anywhere.  He's got several separate breeding groups of THH including Italian and French subtypes.  He also keeps and breeds Boetgerri and has written a book about Hermanns. I don't think you would find a vet that would be better at ID of Hermanns.  One feature of the THH that everyone seems agreed on is about the length of the seams on the inguinal scutes on the plastron underneath,  but the tortoises you have do not seem to match the other classic signs either.

If you want another opinion I can get you one from some people in France who run a forum there.  They have debates all the time about tortoises that might be from this or that area of France or are sold as one sub species but turn out to be a different one. Its not unusual either to get hybrids who have a mixture of genes so look like Boetgeri in some ways but THH in others.  To get your tortoises looked over by the French I would need you to post your photos on photobucket and attach a link to it in a message here. They really enjoy this kind of thing and its their native tortoise so if anyone knows for sure about yours then maybe its them.

And just to give another perspective on this altogether, some people say there are no subspecies of Hermann at all and these are all just regional variations not subspecies. And when I see how very different the Italian and French tortoises look I can see that point entirely. 

Re: Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 31/08/2009 by Ozric

Hi again - had another idea!  Have you got digital photos of the mum and dad of these little ones?  Maybe you could ask your breeder for some, seems a very reasonable request. 

Re: Which sub-species of Hermann's are these?
Posted: 01/09/2009 by tortoise7

Hope you don't mind me coming in, but I have 2 THB's and really interested learning how to tell the THH apart. I am looking at the photo's and what I see is that the carapace has typical markings of the THB and the femoral seam is short like a THB, the Pectoral seam is short like the THH??? the plastron does not have the continual black band of a THH- my guess is that it is a THB. I am a complete novice and these are only my learning contributions, which are to be corrected if need be.  When you look at comparison's of the THH & THB they vary so much from tort to tort, it really does take someone with visual experience to determine the species.
Sorry if I have gone on abit don't mean to distract from the original question just really interested to learnClick and drag me down to the editor


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