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Var babies ( 4 years old, 1 year old and neonate from september 2009)

by touton - gennaio 2nd, 2010.
Filed under: Francia del Sud, Testudo hermanni.

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20 Responses to Var babies ( 4 years old, 1 year old and neonate from september 2009)

  1. Those with 1 white patch painted on a vertebral are 1 year old babies.

  2. Thanks Touton,

    very interesting pics: I suddenly note the typical orange-yellow of light parts of carapace, the two black lines on V2 &V3 and a dark grey skin.

    Certainly they look like umbrians Thh more that sardinians ones.

    Just getting a glimpse of these pics, the main differences I can see between these Thh and umbrian ones are:
    - a darker black color of carapace: umbrians black patches appear more brown;
    - clear triangle shape on pleurals;
    - a darker grey-black skin: umbrians Thh have a grey-green skin;
    - the lack of star on V1… in the last picture I can also note the light patch on V1 that I usually see in sardinian Thh…

    … I’m little confused but I think it’s natural I need to observe more and more and to reflect about in order to have an idea little by little clear!

    What do you think about?

  3. I agree with what you noticed Lorenzo, but, as you said, I think also we need to compare hundreds of pictures to find reliable morphological specificities of each population… and that sometimes, uncommun specimen, even if trully from on local population, can brake our conclusion because it will have one or two morphological patterns of another population of thh …. :-(
    What do you mean by “two black lines on V2 and V3″ ? horizontaly (parallel to main lenght of shell) ? or vertically ?

  4. Vertically black lines I already note on your wild adults pics!

  5. Do you speak about the nlack line at the front part of vertebral ?If this the case, they have also a black line on V4, no ???
    But umbrians also, no ??

  6. If we take the the following pics as example…


    …the long black lines in the middle of V2, V3 longer and slimmer then in other population specimens where I usually note larger and shorter black patches as we can see there:


    I understand well there’s nothing clear in my impression, but I think it’s the same for the “star” on umbrians V1 and for the light patch on sardinian V1 or yellow triangles on pleurals: they are not always the same, not always present and not only in these populatons, but if you see several specimens of the same population you can see the difference even at now it’s impossible for me understand the origine of a Thh by its colors and shape, but…

    … as you told “I think also we need to compare hundreds of pictures to find reliable morphological specificities of each population… and that sometimes, uncommun specimen, even if trully from on local population, can brake our conclusion because it will have one or two morphological patterns of another”.

  7. Do you find those black line so thin and long on the last pic of this article showing my three 4 years old babies ? They are not so long and quite large, no ?

  8. Yes Touton,
    I admint that looking your 4 yers old babies the association with their origine is not so easy, but I think it will remain impossible to associate a specimes to its oringin according only to its phenotypic patterns.

    But highlighting specific characters of single population, I think we may come to identify at least an extraneous specimen among an omogeneus group, but…

    … exception will be always possible!

    Did you see Toscany Thh?

    Thh Toscana meridionale & European Studbook Foundation (Foto di L. Woldring)

    What’s your impression about?

  9. In what you think my 4 years old babies are , to your mind, different from varoise as you imagine them ??
    Where should I see thh from Toscany ? I didn’t understand.. you are talking about one book ?

  10. Yes, I saw the new article about thh in Tuscany.
    Those local thh seem to be rather close morphologically to varoise, except:
    - F/P close to 1, whereas varoise have almost always F/P>1.5,
    - V5 pattern quite different from varoise’s one: the key hole seem to be more narrow at the center than on varoises,
    - the yellow color seem to be more yellow than among varoises where it is more orange.
    But, my conclusion is based on pics of only 2 specimen of thh from Tuscany….

  11. The female seems to have quite a lot of green patches on the top of her head, wich is very scarce among varoises.
    Unfortunately we don’t see the head of the male :-(

  12. First of all, I’m sorry I forgot the link to the Toscany article!

    Concerning your babies I was speaking about your question on vertebral black lines: they don’t have thin lines even if all adult specimens you show on pics do have. It’s possible these quite round vertebral paches will become thin in a few years?

    I will answer about Toscany characters on their article… Thh Toscana meridionale & European Studbook Foundation (Foto di L. Woldring)

  13. I red your book about thh in Umbria. Congratulations !
    I noticed there 2 other major differences between umbrians and varoises:
    Apparently, at least 50% of umbrians have either 4+4 or 4+5 claws on their frontfeet, whereas most of varoises (even if not all, let’s say about 80%) have 5+5 claws.
    You say also that maximum size for umbrians are: 13.5 cm for males and 15 cm for females, I think varoises are a little bit bigger.
    Varoise females reach quite often 16 to 17 cm, and it is not scarce that varoise males reach 14 to 15 cm.
    Have a good evening Lorenzo.

  14. I will post pics of adult varoises with large, wide black patches on their vertebrales.

  15. Thanks Touton,
    it’s only a little book where I note my observation during over ten years with turtles…

    The most important thing for me it’s to work for for a deeper and wider knowledge of Tortoises & Turtles because knowledge is the first step to conservation and every T&T lover is called to give his contribution!

    Thanks to your pics my idea about Var Thh are growing day by day: I’ve always thought at this population as Thh on a side…

    … their black-grey skin, their 5×5 claws, and even the mistake of black patches on plastron gulars in my mind made this Var Thh little closer to Thb (but absolutelly not in their general appearence!) then any other peninsular population…

    … Thh insular populations are instead close to Thb but under different patterns: big size, F/P relation often = 1, sandy color… !

  16. Most of thb do have black patches on gulars of plastron, no ? so why do you say that mistake of these patches among varoises make them close to thb ??
    Thb have always 5+5 claws ?

    Otherwise, what are approximatively the greatest density of thh in the best preserved and sunny areas of Umbria ??

  17. In Var the best density is about 12-15 specimen per hectare (10 000 m2), it is in a very small unknown area.
    But the average is 1 specimen per hectare only…. :-(

  18. Black patches are on my mind a typical pattern of Thb even if not always present…

    … as I told you via mail, before speaking with you and seeing your pics of wild tortoises I knew Var Thh by the pics I have in this page of my web-site http://www.tartoombria.org/schede_thh_francia.html

    These animals are not wild: they are simply supposed to be Var origine and several of them show black patches on gular scales!

    The mistake was mine because thanks to your description I may Know that wild Var usually have no black patches on gulars so I can’t consider this character as typical of this population.

    I know that Thb usually have 5+5 grey-black claws on their frontfeet, as you can see in this pic of Montenegro Thb: http://www.tartoombria.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/P8086130-300×225.jpg

    I’m sorry but we can’t find complete report of this species all around Umbria; scientists studies report an index of presence of this species as 0,238 against 0,039 of Emys orbicularis and 0,733 of Hierophis vidiriflavus.

    In fact the Thh is not always present in a considerable number: a half of our region has mountains and anly some reptiles live there (as Hierophis vidiriflavus!)

    I can say that beacause of typical terraced olive-grove landscape somewhere we can find a very high density while somewhere else it’s really impossible to find tortoises, but I’m not able to give more details about!

  19. William…

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this blog with my …

  20. Thanks Will,
    welcome in this Blog, where are you from?

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