Three generations of captive-hatched desert tortoises, Xerobates agassizii

  • Published source details Arneberg Booth K. & Buskirk J. (1988) Three generations of captive-hatched desert tortoises, Xerobates agassizii. Herpetological Review, 19, 55-56.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Breed reptiles in captivity: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Breed reptiles in captivity: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

    A study in 1935–1986 in California, USA (Arneberg Booth & Buskirk 1988) found that 1st and 2nd generation captive desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii bred successfully in most years, but 3rd generation tortoises were successful in only two of 10 years. Authors reported only a subset of data. They estimated that the total number of eggs produced was 280 over 30 years by the 1st captive generation; 120 over 16 years by the 2nd generation; and 32 over 10 years by the 3rd generation. Reported hatching success was 20–83% for eggs produced by the 2nd generation, and 0–43% for those produced by the 3rd generation. All tortoises were descendants of an adult pair acquired in 1935 and were housed in outdoor enclosures. Eggs were collected from outdoor nests and placed in plastic bowls in 1 cm of washed sand. Bowls were covered with a damp cloth and temperatures were maintained at 26–27°C. When hatching began, eggs were moved to a sheet of waxed paper.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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