Hermann VS Russian Tortoise

Understanding the difference between a Hermann Tortoise and a Russian Tortoise will help you to make the best decision when choosing your long-term reptile pet. 

If you are thinking that you want a cute little tortoise as a pet but your looking around and not sure which one is the best choice then this is perfect page for you because as you read below we will go over some of the differences between the two types so you can make a more informed choice about which tortoise is perfect for you.

Ultimate Comparison Table

Hermann TortoiseRussian Tortoise
Common Names:Hermann’s TortoiseRussian Tortoise, Horsfield’s tortoise, Central Asian Tortoise
Scientific Name:Testudo HermanniAgrionemys horsfieldii
SpeciesT. hermanniA. horsfieldii
OriginThe Hermann’s tortoise is thought to be originated from most of southern europe. Though it can’t be traced back to a single country, T.h. hermanni’s natural habitat can be found in places like eastern Spain, southern France, Corsica, Sicily, the Balearic islands, central and south Italy, and Sardinia. The eastern version of the Hermann’s Tortoise, known as T.h. boettgeri is found in countries like Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey.T.h. hercegovinensis is the third type of Hermann’s tortoise and can be found in Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia Herzegovina.They are found in central Asia. Pakistan, Iran, and afghanistan are all known to house the russian tortoise.
HistoryThis tortoise gets its name from the late great zoologist Jean Hermann of Strasbourg. Johann Friedrich Gmelin however, was the one who gave it its scientific name Testudo Hermanni.Johann Davis Schoepff was the first one to illustrate the Hermann’s Tortoise.It is not known when the first Russian tortoise was discovered, or who named it.
SizeTheir size can be described as small to medium, but the sizes vary through the different subspecies. The eastern subspecies T.h. boettgeri is usually much larger than the western T.h. hermanni, growing up to 11 inches long, and weighing up to 8.8 lbs. T.h. hermanni doesn’t usually grow any longer than 7 inches.Males can grow up to 8 inches long and females up to 10 inches long.
AgeNobody knows for sure how long a captive born Hermann’s tortoise can live but they are generally expected to live 50 years or longer.They usually live to be around 40 years old.
Popularity These are one of the most popular types of tortoises to own in the world.Russian tortoies are not as common as Hermann’s Tortoises, but they are still widely kept as pets.
Information AvailableFor more information on Hermann’s tortoise you can check out www.lllreptile.com, as well as www.reptileapartment.com, and of course wikipedia.For more information on Russian Tortoises you can browse around own own site here as well as check out www.petuniversity.com, www.russiantortoise.net and wikipedia
Personality & CharacteristicsThey are very outgoing for tortoises, and like to get out and about, and interact with others. If you lift them off of them ground for too long at a time they can become frightened however. They should be handled with care.
They need to be exposed to fresh air and sunlight everyday in order to thrive.
The personality of Russian Tortoises can vary greatly; some of them are shy while others are outgoing. As with Hermann’s Tortoises, they should be handled with care and gentleness.
DietHermann’s tortoises like to eat grass and leafy green vegetables. Carrot tops, mustard greens, collard greens, and kale are all good choices. You should also give them a reptile multivitamin. When it comes to watering your tortoise, you can’t just leave a regular bowl of water out for them as they are used to withstanding long periods of time without water and will not drink from it. Instead, lower them into a bowl of water and they will naturally lower their head to drink. You can however leave a long shallow bowl of water out for them as long as you make sure the water stays clean. Contaminated water is one of the main sources of diseases in captive reptiles.Same
Housing They need a somewhat large area to roam around in and if you can’t keep them in an outdoor pen, at least provideSame
Temperature & LightingThey thrive in temps of 80 to 100 degrees and can be kept warm with standard infrared heat bulbs, ceramic heaters, heat pads, or heat bulbs.They can thrive in hot temperatures as well as freezing cold temperatures.
Bed & SubstrateThey need a fairly deep layer of bedding. Cypress mulch, shredded aspen, pulverized coconut, and reptile bark can all be used for this. It should be easy for your tortoise to dig in and easy for you to clean.Same
HibernationThey need to hibernate during the winter and you can do this for them by putting them in a domestic fridge. This can help you keep them at a safe temperature while not having to expose them to any harsh winter climates which can vary in temperature from day to day.In the wild, they hibernate up to 9 months out of the year, but in captivity they can thrive from as little as 8 weeks of hibernation. They should be at least 5 inches long before hibernated
Breeding Females will lay up to 6 eggs depending on the subspecies of tortoise. If you have multiple male tortoises they may fight each other and this is normal.Same

Females will lay eggs up to a month after breeding. You will want to use an incubater to hatch the eggs, and it should take up to 2 days for the hatchlings to break out of their eggs. Higher incubator temps around 90 degress farenheit will usually result in more females, while lower temperatures will often yield more males. Once they are hatched they can take up to two full weeks to begin eating.
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Which every type of tortoise you choose to own, they will no doubt bring you many happy years of companionship and maybe even bring you some cute little tortoise babies! Take care of them the right way and they will return your favor and love you forever!