Russian Tortoise

Russian Tortoise

  • For more picture, check Russian Tortoise Pictures

Scientific Name

  • Agrionemys horsfieldii
  • Formerly know as Testudo horsfieldii


  • It also has the generic name of Russian Tortoise, Central Asian Tortoise, Four-Toed Tortoise, Afghanistan Tortoise, Horsfield’s Tortoise and Steppe Tortoise.
  • Russian Tortoise or Afghanistan Tortoise is one of the most famous and popular tortoises in the world.


  • These tortoises are mostly found in middle east countries such as Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and some area in North Western China.
  • Naturally can be found near hillsides, rocky deserts, sandy or loamy steppes.


  • Mating is actively done during the summer season (mid of March to mid of June, naturally)


  • 2 to 6 eggs per clutch
  • Up to 3 clutches per season
  • Incubation takes 80 to 110 days, at constant 30.5ºC
  • Hatchling happen in August or September in natural
  • Russian babies are measured at around 32mm to 34mm in length


  • Up to 6 – 8 inches in size

Life Span:

  • Around 50 years old


  • High fiber, low protein and calcium rich food is necessary
  • Russian Tortoise loves leaves, grasses, weesds, vegetables and flowers
  • Since the tortoise hibernate during winter, and tends to eat a lots during summer, you’ll find out that if you keep them indoor, it’ll eat lots all year long
  • This will create improper growth for the tortoise
  • The recommedation is to feed them 30 minutes a day as how much they can eat, and stop feeding them
  • Please be reminded that the food much be variety, do not feed them the same food everyday. Mix up hoya plants and green plants (Endive, Romaine lettuce… ) Different mixing preferably everyday
  • Try not to feed them with fruits, grains or animal protein food
  • Mxing the food with vitamin D3 power or calcium supplement is highly recommended
  • A dish of water should be provided all time


  • This kind of tortoise prefers open dry landscaping
  • The tortoise is an expert burrow digger
  • Naturally Russian Tortoise hibernate during winter or cold whether
  • The active period of the time for this tortoise is from mid of March to mid of June (summer season)
  • Estivation or aestivation do happen during the summer
  • In summer, they forage.
  • At temperature of 21ºC to 31ºC, the tortoise is found most active
  • Hibernation is from October to March in Uzbekistan
  • Dry and sparse bushes or grasses

Common Disease:

  • Inproper growth if diet is not controlled well

Vivarium Housing:

  • Prevent damp if you keep them outdoor
  • Indoor housing must be large enough for their movement, at least 3 feet by 4 feet enclosure
  • Temperature should be controlled with basking spot at around 31ºC and a cooler spot with a hide box