African Pancake tortoise temperature

Temperatures should hover in the 85 degree range during the day time.  Night time lows should not exceed 70 Degrees.  Using a heating element or heat lamp is necessary.  Provide your African Pancake tortoise with a basking area of 90-94 degrees and a cooler zone of 75-80 degrees.  Over time, you will start to notice your Pancake tortoise either basking or sitting in the cooler zone of the habitat.  Pancakes like all reptiles are cold-blooded and therefore need to thermoregulate their internal body temperature by using hot and cold spots.

African pancake tortoise enclosure

A word of warning – pancake tortoises are fantastic little climbers! They are adapted to spend their days scrambling around huge piles of sun-warmed rock, so any open-topped enclosure must have either a large overhanging lip or a mesh cover. Their flexible shell and long limbs allow them to flip themselves over much faster than more normal shaped species, another adaptation to help them cope with the inevitable falls that come with their acrobatic lifestyle.

Pancake tortoises for sale

Pancakes are one of the few arid habitat tortoises that thrive in vivariums, although a well set-up tortoise table would be fine for them as well. They need a good source of UVB and a basking area large enough for them to expose their whole shells to the hotspot, rather than just a small area. They are also happy to live in groups, unlike many other species.

Feeding your pancake tortoise

Feeding is relatively simple for them as long as you follow a few common sense rules. They do very well on a weed based diet, high in fiber and calcium, low in protein and phosphorous. Avoid fruit, and any greens high in oxalic acid (such as spinach) or goitrogens – chemicals that cause gout (most of the brassica family, cabbages, kale and so on). These food items are fine as a treat, but should be avoided on a regular basis. Plain calcium should be dusted on every feed, with a good quality multivitamin/multimineral powder added twice a week. Pancake tortoises feed enthusiastically, and seem to prefer to eat in the morning; they like to spend most of the day tucked up in their hides, but once they’re settled they will emerge to investigate whenever anyone comes near their home.

Because of their unique shape, female pancakes lay one – or very occasionally two – eggs at a time, although they can do this up to five times in a season. They have an extremely variable incubation period; three to six months!  If you are looking for a baby pancake tortoise, check out our pancake tortoises for sale here.

Pancake Tortoise General information

  • Common name: Pancake Tortoise
  • Scientific Name: Malacochersustornieri
  • Location: Kenya and Tanzania
  • Habitat (wild): Arid environment, stone outcroppings called kopjes
  • Captive environment: Table or vivarium
  • Preferred temperature range:daytimehot spot of 40℃ under the basking light, background ambient of 35℃, cool end of 25℃. Temperature can drop to 20℃ at night
  • UVB: 10% or 12% tube, mercury vaporor metal halide bulb
  • Substrate: Soil based
  • Lifespan: 35 -75 years

pancake tortoise care

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pancake tortoise temperature

pancake tortoise care