Hermann's Tortoise

Hermann’s Tortoises make the perfect life-long friend. They are undeniably adorable with fascinating yellow-brown shell patterns! Tortoises are most playful (and hungriest) during the day. Please remember that tortoises can live for at least 75 years, making them a serious commitment, however, you are likely to enjoy long-term companionship.

Hermann's Tortoise


  • Behaviour: Diurnal (active during the day)
  • Diet: Herbivore (plants)
  • Ease of care: Intermediate
  • Handling: Beginner
  • Humidity: 40-60%
  • Life span: 75+ years
  • Origin: Southern Europe
  • Potential adult size: 5-8 inches
  • Scientific name: Testudo hermanni

Top Tips

  • Hermann’s tortoises are quite short, so make sure that their water bowl is not too deep and is easy for them to drink from
  • Provide bedding (or substrate) deep enough that your tortoise can have a little dig around
  • Some tortoises can have a bigger appetite, so make sure to feed them just the right amount
  • Keep the mealtime exciting by providing foods with different colours and smells
  • Be careful not to give your tortoise too much protein as its shell might grow too fast and become uneven
  • To give your pet much needed calcium, treat them to a cuttlefish bone to snack on


The Hermann’s Tortoises are ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals, so they need their environment to be toasty to stay warm themselves. An ideal background temperature for a tortoise table is 21⁰C-25⁰C, and at night it can be lowered to 18⁰C-21⁰C. Don’t forget to create a hot spot for your reptile to relax in at 30⁰C-32⁰C.

Use a UV basking lamp to provide both heat and much-needed UV rays for your pet to thrive, however make sure not to use the lamp through a thermostat. At night use a heat mat, attached to the roof over their favourite sleeping spot, to make sure they don’t suddenly get chilly. Keep an eye on the temperature regularly and use a thermometer to make sure your tortoise is always comfortable.

It’s up to you how the tortoise table is decorated, but your pet would definitely enjoy deep tortoise bedding and some branches for climbing over and hiding under. Live or artificial plants provide darker areas where your reptile can hide.


Once the tortoise table is set up, it needs to be carefully maintained for your pet to stay happy and healthy. On a daily basis make sure to change your pet's water and spot clean.

Every week disinfect the water bowl, shake up the bedding and remove any dirt to prevent build-up of bacteria. Also, wipe down the walls with a reptile-safe disinfectant.

Once a month fully replace the bedding and have a thorough clean of the décor with the disinfectant.

Even though tortoises don’t have teeth, they can still bite you with their tough and sharp beak, so be careful not to put your fingers too close. Keep an eye on when the beak gets too long as it might need to be trimmed at the vets.

Remember: always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with water and disinfectant once you have finished cleaning, feeding, or handling your tortoise.

Equipment Needed

  • Tortoise Table
  • Arcadia 2nd Generation UV Basking Lamp
  • HabiStat Heat Mat
  • HabiStat Mat Stat for heat mat use (HTMW1)
  • HabiStat Tortoise Bedding
  • HabiStat Tortoise Pool


A Hermann’s Tortoise will never say no to yummy meal. These reptiles are herbivores, which means they love nothing more than leafy greens, weeds, flowers and vegetables. Every now and again treat them to a little fruit for a healthy dessert.

Feed your tortoise during the day when it’s most active and choose organic options where possible. HabiStat Tortoise Food can also be an easy way to add variety and excitement to mealtimes.

Fresh water is another essential, best provided in a shallow bowl or tortoise pool. To keep your pet hydrated, mist the substrate whenever it looks and feels dry.

To stay healthy your tortoise will need calcium and other vitamins that can be found in Arcadia Earth Pro-A and Arcadia Earth Pro Calcium Mg. Follow the on-pack instructions to find out how much and how often these need to be given.

Additional Information

A group of tortoises is called a “creep”, although these guys are anything but creepy!

‘Scutes’ are the hard scales on a tortoise’s shell, that give the shell its pattern. The number of scutes a tortoise has is the same throughout their lifetime, as they grow at the same rate as the tortoise.

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