Common Name: Pancake Tortoise
Scientific Name: Malacochersus tornieri, the only extant species of the genus Malacochersus.
Distribution: Kenya, Tanzania
Basic guidelines for terrarium care
Artificial crevices or flat caves made from stacked and rounded stones that should be well secured; hiding places; drinking area; UV-MH (HID) lamps.
The terrarium must be well secured. These tortoise specialists are quite capable of moving a sliding door.
I have had the best experience with a sand-clay-humus mix. An alternative could be coconut humus. Flat stones directly under the lamp enhance the sunbathing experience for the animals. The floor substrate should be at least 15 cm deep. A hill of at least 20 cm height (floor substrate) is recommended.
Temperature / Climate
Rainy season: daytime around 25-30 degrees Celsius.
Dry season: daytime 21-30 degrees Celsius.
Local warming to 36-40 degrees Celsius.
Nighttime reduction of about 5-8 degrees Celsius. (not colder than 16 degrees)
The day lasts 10-14 hours daily. Use HDI lamps for high light intensity. UV radiation daily. Please do not use LED, UV tubes, or mixed light lamps.
Currently, the best, according to the state of the art, are HID lamps. A window seat might be beneficial as a natural addition.
There is no significant difference from European land tortoises. Fresh meadow herbs such as dandelion or plantain are advantageous.
If you can't find ideal meadow herbs, you can order them online as plants. Other options include Golliwoog or dried meadow herbs. If all else fails, you can also feed Romaine lettuce or lamb's lettuce on cold winter days. I recall a tortoise guidebook (literature) that had recommended feeding cat food or bread soaked in warm milk occasionally. If you still have such a book at home, please dispose of it in the trash (outdated literature).
Opinions differ here. I think at this point, everyone should know their animals. Pancake tortoises are creatures of habit and dislike changes in their environment. Some react stubbornly, others don't care. Tortoises are not stupid and have a good memory. For this reason, I believe that the animals can get used to two environments, as long as these are not constantly rebuilt. The location should be sunny and sheltered from the wind. Basically, the same parameters apply here as for the indoor terrarium. See above.
- Pancake Tortoise
- Malacochersus tornieri
- terrarium care
- terrarium design
- terrarium temperature
- terrarium lighting
- tortoise diet
- indoor terrarium
- outdoor terrarium