Testudo Graeca Graeca is a long-lived species, reaching 60 years in captivity, but rarely exceeding 20 years in the wild. Females are bigger than the males, around 7 in and 2 lb in adults, compared to 5.5 - 6 in and 1.3 lb of the males.
In addition to the size, there is a clear sexual dimorphism, whose differentiation is made through secondary sexual characteristics. Let's see some of the most relevant ones:
- Plastron (1). The adult males present a concavity in the plastron to mount the female during copulation, being flat in females and subadult specimens.
- Tail (2). Proportionally longer, sturdier and thicker in the males, with greater distance between the cloaca and the base of the tail. The anal scales of the males are shorter than those of the females, and form a more open angle.
- Supracaudal plate (3). Flat termination in the females, against a convex and strongly curved inwards plate in the males.
Nonetheless, we must consider the set of traits of the specimen in order to make a correct differentiation, since the analysis of a single trait characteristic can lead us to error on many occasions.
In the next post, we will address a key issue in the conservation of the Greek tortoise: its reproduction. Do not miss it!