cpnha logo

Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association
Sonoran Desert Reptiles
Gopherus agassizii (Desert tortoise)



 Desert tortoise

Diet: herbivore
Size: 9-15"

Identification: 8 - 15 in. (20.3-38.1 cm). A high-domed shell, usually with prominent growth lines on shields of both carapace and plastron. Carapace brown, gray, or horn colored, usually without definite pattern. Plastron yellowish or brownish without a hinge. Forelimbs covered with large conical scales, when drawn in, limbs block openings of shell. Limbs stocky. Tail short. Young: Flexible shell. Nails longer and sharper than in adult.. Carapace dull yellow to light brown; shields usually with dark borders. Male: Gular shields longer than in female, and lump (chin gland) on each side of lower jaw larger.


Excerpts from A FIELD GUIDE TO WESTERN REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, 3/e by Robert C. Stebbins. Copyright (c) 2003 by Robert C. Stebbins. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Photo Credits:
Photo #1





Copyright Creative Commons

HTML & Programing by
Thomas R. Powell


Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Refuge