Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

Marginated Tortoise (Testudo marginata)


Testudo marginata is the largest European tortoise, reaching a weight of up to 5 kg and a length of 35 cm. The shell of adult specimens is almost completely black, with yellow highlights. The front sides of the limbs are covered with large scales and the tail is notable for a lengthwise marking and for an undivided shell over it.


You can find Testudo marginata in hills and in mountain areas, they prefer grassy terrain.


Testudo marginata are herbivorous, their diets consisting primarily of plants from their native Mediterranean region.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

Interesting Fact

The black color of the carapace is helpful for survival in this environment, as it allows the tortoise to absorb a great deal of heat in a short time, helping it maintain its body temperature.

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