Not seeing a Scroll to Top Button? Go to our FAQ page for more info.
Home > Tortoises > Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise

Desert tortoise is a species of tortoise found in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of the southwestern region of the United States and northwestern Mexico. The species spend a lot of time in burrows, pallets and rock shelters to adjust body temperature and control dehydration.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Sauropsida
    Order Testudines
    Suborder Cryptodira
    Superfamily Testudinoidea
    Family Testudinidae
    Genus Gopherus
    Scientific Name Gopherus agassizii


    Size 10 to 14 in
    Weight 0.02 to 5 kg
    Color Greenish-tan to dark brown shell
    Distribution Western Arizona, southeastern California,  southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, Mexico
    Habitat Sandy flats, rocky foothills; found from sea level to an elevation of 3500 ft
    Diet Plant matter especially grasses, herbs, annual wildflowers, new growth of shrubs, cacti and their fruits and flowers
    Hibernation Fact Hibernate during winter months
    Predators Ravens, Gila monsters, badgers, roadrunners, kit foxes, coyotes, fire ants
    Breeding Season Spring, Autumn
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 4 to 8 eggs
    Incubation Period 90 – 135 days
    Reproductive Age 15 to 20 years of age
    Average Lifespan 50 to 80 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

    Desert Tortoise Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 30th 2016 by under Tortoises. Article was last reviewed on 11th August 2018.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *