Testudo hermanni hermanni:

Western Hermann's tortoise


(Sicily), Italy.

The Testudo hermanni hermanni of Ragusa on the island of Sicily are a beautifully light colored population. Some specimens are nearly all yellow with little black pigment. Their size is small but not quite as small as those found on Mount Etna yet they are compact, beautiful and feature classic traits assignable to the western subspecies.


  • Typically on the small to standard size 

  • Second vertebral scute sometimes dips forward in a "U" or "V" shape

  • Light colored carapace with pale to lemon yellow background

  • Frayed black pigment revealing an overall lighter appearance

  • Yellow-greenish colored head with mottled yellow areas 

  • Subocular spot usually conspicuous

  • Head is narrow with regular contours 

  • 4 or 5 light colored nails on each front foot, usually 4

  • Suture between humeral and pectoral scutes may be zig zag or "U" shaped.

  • "Gular Mustache" only sometimes present and almost always present


Ragusa Testudo hermanni hermanni are relatively new to herpetoculture especially in the United States. Up until recently, only the Sicilian forms found in Nebrodi, Madonie and Mount Etna were described. For the most part these tortoises follow insular characteristics but like most other locales, they have some interesting attributes that can help set them apart. Of course it's never too late to mention that without genetic testing or knowing the legitimate history of an animal, you can never be absolutely sure of where it derives from. 

In the images on this page, their overall smaller size and light colored carapace are shown. All of our Ragusa tortoises follow the same general appearance.

Ragusa's tortoises are a beautiful example of the western subspecies and certainly hold true to that classic yellow coloration. They also of course feature the common characteristics associated with this group and several can be seen in the following photos. Males average between 3.4 and 3.9" while females average between 4.3 and 5.6".