Negev tortoise

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Negev tortoise
Testudo kleinmanni.jpg
Specimen at the Western Negev
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Testudo
T. werneri
Binomial name
Testudo werneri
Testudo werneri range.png
Black - regionally extinct
Red - current distribution

The Negev tortoise (Testudo werneri) is a species of tortoise in the family Testudinidae. The species is endemic to the Negev Desert in southern Israel.


T. werneri has been considered to be a subspecies or synonym of Kleinmann's tortoise (T. kleinmanni ).[1]


Males of T. werneri may reach a straight carapace length of 10.6 cm (4.2 in). Females grow to be larger, attaining a straight carapace length of 13.1 cm (5.2 in) (Perälä 2001).

Conservation status[edit]

T. werneri was once found in the Sinai Peninsula but has gone regionally extinct due to loss of habitat. In Israel it is protected by law and several conservation programs, and the local population trend is rising.


The specific name, werneri, is in honor of Israeli herpetologist Yehudah L. Werner.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Testudo kleinmanni ". The Reptile Database.
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Testudo werneri, p. 282).

Further reading[edit]

  • Perälä J (2001). "A New Species of Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) from the Middle East, with Implications for Conservation". Journal of Herpetology 35 (4): 567-582. (Testudo werneri, new species).