Texas tortoise

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Texas tortoise
Gopherus berlandieri.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Gopherus
Species: G. berlandieri
Binomial name
Gopherus berlandieri
(Agassiz, 1857)
  • Xerobates berlandieri Agassiz, 1857
  • Testudo berlandieri Strauch, 1862
  • Xerobates gopher berlandieri
    Gray, 1873
  • Testudo tuberculata Berlandier, 1882 (nomen nudum)
  • Gopherus berlandieri
    Stejneger, 1893
  • Gopherus polyphemus berlandieri Mertens & Wermuth, 1955
  • Gopherus berlandierii
    — Reeves, 1975 (ex errore)
  • Scaptochelys berlandieri
    — Bramble, 1982
  • Gopherus berlanderi Rogner, 1996 (ex errore)

The Texas tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri), is one of four species of tortoise that are native to North America.

Geographic range[edit]

G. berlandieri is found from southern Texas southward into the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.


The epithet specific berlandieri is in honor of the Belgian naturalist Jean Louis Berlandier, who worked for the Mexican government on one of the first biological surveys of Texas.[1] As such, some sources refer to it as Berlandier's tortoise.


The Texas tortoise, unlike other species of gopher tortoise, are not adept burrowers. Its preferred habitat is dry scrub and grasslands. Succulent plants, a preferred food of the Texas tortoise, are common in these areas. They especially like the fruit of cacti such as the prickly pear.

Conservation status[edit]

Though considered an animal of low concern by the IUCN Red List, the Texas tortoise is listed as a threatened species in the state of Texas, and thus protected by state law. It is illegal to collect or possess them.



  1. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Havaš, Peter (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 280–281. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

External links[edit]