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Nama padloper Tortoise

Tortoises | Namibia

Introduction: The Nama Padloper Tortoise (Homopus sp.) is an endemic tortoise species of Namibia. It has previously been attributed as a tent tortoise, but is awaiting a new species name. The scientific name of Homopus translates from the Greek words Homo 'alike' and pus 'foot'. The Nama Padloper can be found in rocky outcrops and pegmatite (weathered granite) in the Aus region. It also favours desert and steppe vegetation type areas that are associated with winter rainfall.

The Padloper is one of the most secretive tortoises and can be found in rock crevices and cracks. They are not known to venture out into the open and can be observed laying up on sandy and gravel plains between Helmeringhausen and Aus in the Tiras Mountains amongst the rocky outcrops.

Distribution: Luderitz, Aus, Tiras area and from the Huns Mountains southwards to the Orange River and Fish River.

Diet: Succulents and on occasions has been observed feeding on black lichens in the Aus area.

Colouring: The colour of the shell is reddish-brown, with dark edged shields.

Breeding: Clutches of single eggs are usually deposited under a rocky overhang for shade and protection. The incubation period is around 104 days and hatchlings are tiny, the size of a N$1 coin.

Weight: 100 to 140g. Females are bigger and rounder than males, who tend to be more elongated in appearance that females.

Dangers and predators: Brown hyenas, mongooses, baboons, monitor lizards, crows and jackals. Illegal collecting is also a big threat to the Nama Padloper Tortoise.

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