African tent tortoise

(Psammobates tentorius)


African tent tortoise IUCN NOT EVALUATED (NE)


Facts about this animal

The African Tent tortoise is a highly polymorphic species. The carapace is compact, domed and the sides are rounded. The well defined starred pattern varies greatly and does not always extend to the plastron. Sometimes the plastron bears a single prominent black marking, running its entire length. The carapace pattern is also very variable. Some specimens almost lack it, others have only very few thick radiating black lines, and still others show many small radiating lines.

Did you know?
that the African tent tortoise is threatened by habitat destruction through agricultural development and poor landuse practices, illegal collection for the pet trade, and the killing of specimens for food? Tent tortoises also fall prey to many natural predators such as baboons, jackal, mongoose, honey badgers and predatory birds, as well as to domestic dogs.


Name (Scientific) Psammobates tentorius
Name (English) African tent tortoise
Name (French) Tortue bosselée
Name (German) Höcker-Landschildkröte
Name (Spanish) Tortuga estrellada sudafricana
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Victor Loehr



Range Namibia, South Africa
Habitat Dry, semidesert regions
Wild population Unknown
Zoo population 4 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

African tent tortoise


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 43 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Victor Loehr

Why do zoos keep this animal

Psammobates tentorius is currently not listed as athreatened species by IUCN, and it is oinly rarely kept by zoos.

Keeping the African tent tortoise would primarily serve educational purposes: In Southern Africa it would familiarise people with a native species and maybe result in less animals being crushed by cars, outside Southern Africa it would be an exampoke of a tortoise species adapted to very arid climatic conditions.