Scientific Name: Geochelone carbonaria
Ease of Care: Easy
Approximate Arrival Size: 4+ inches (size varies but will always be larger than 4 inches)
Approximate Full Size: 10 to 14 inches
Lighting Requirements: When housed indoors, full spectrum fluorescent UVB bulbs and a basking light are requried
Red Foot Tortoises are native to South America and some of the Caribbean islands. Here they inhabit the tropical forests and grass lands. They are omnivorous and spend a large amount of time foraging for food. These attractive and long lived tortoises make interesting pets if you can provide the proper housing for them.
Life span: 40 to 50 years
Temperature range: Day 72° -87°F with a cool area and a warm area.
Food: Diet should consist of a variety of dark leafy greens, squash, carrots, corn and some fruit. Once or twice a week a protein source such as earthworms, crickets or mealworms should be offered in addition. Use a high quality calcium and multi-vitamin supplement daily.
Water: A large, shallow container of fresh, clean water should be offered daily. Daily misting will help keep the humidity up indoors. A sprinkler can be used outdoors to provide tropical conditions in drier weather.
Housing/Habitat: Tortoises do best if housed outdoors when temperatures and weather permit allowing them to receive natural sunlight. They must be housed in a secure pen, as they are very good diggers and climbers. A wire mesh pen set several inches into the ground, works best. The bottom of the pen should be covered with enough soft soil and orchid or cypress bark to facilitate digging and burrowing. The enclosure should be well planted with grasses and edible greens. A shelter must be provided as an escape from adverse conditions. Half of the pen should provide shade from the sun. The tortoise should be moved to an indoor terrarium when temperatures do not permit outdoor housing. Tortoises can be housed indoors in a humid terrarium with the same substrate as outdoors and the addition of proper lighting.