A World of Tortoises

Global distribution of family “Testudinidae”


  • Indotestudo elongata — elongated tortoise (Southeast Asia and parts of India)
  • Indotestudo forstenii — Forsten’s tortoise (Indonesia)
  • Indotestudo travancorica — Travancore tortoise(India)
  • Manouria emys — Asian forest tortoise (southern and southeastern Asia)
  • Manouria impressa — impressed tortoise (mountains of Southeast Asia)
  • Geochelone elegans — Indian star tortoise (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
  • Geochelone platynota — Burmese star tortoise (Myanmar)

Indian Ocean

  • Aldabrachelys gigantea — Aldabra tortoise (Aldabra atoll, Seychelles)
  • Astrochelys radiata (Madagascar)
  • Astrochelys yniphora (Madagascar)
  • Pyxis arachnoides — spider tortoise (Madagascar)
  • Pyxis planicauda — flat-tailed tortoise (Madagascar)


  • Centrochelys sulcata (Africa, Sahel region)
  • Chersina angulata — bowsprit tortoise (Namibia and South Africa)
  • Chersobius boulengeri — Karoo padloper (South Africa)
  • Chersobius signatus — speckled padloper (South Africa)
  • Chersobius solus — Nama padloper (Namibia and South Africa)
  • Homopus aerolatus — parrot-beaked tortoise (South Africa)
  • Homopus femoralis — greater padloper (South Africa)
  • Kinixys belliana — Bell’s hinge-back tortoise (central Africa)
  • Kinixys erosa — forest hinge-back tortoise (central and western Africa)
  • Kinixys homeana — Home’s hinge-back tortoise (western Africa)
  • Kinixys lobatsiana — Lobatse hinge-back tortoise (southern Africa)
  • Kinixys natalensis — Natal hinge-back tortoise (eastern southern Africa)
  • Kinixys spekii — Speke’s hinge-back tortoise (East Africa)
  • Kinixys nogueyi — western hinge-back (tropical western Africa)*
  • Kinixys zombensis — Eastern hinge-back tortoise (eastern southern Africa)*
    • * Considered by some researchers to be subspecies of K. belliana.
  • Malacochersus tornieri — pancake tortoise (Kenya & Tanzania)
  • Psammobates geometricus — geometric tortoise (southern Africa)
  • Psammobates oculifer — serrated tortoise (southern Africa)
  • Psammobates tentorius — tent tortoise (southern Africa)
  • Stigmochelys pardalis — leopard tortoise (eastern and southern Africa)


  • Testudo (Testudo) graeca — Greek or spur-thighed tortoise (North Africa and southern Spain)
  • Testudo (Testudo) kleinmannii — Egyptian tortoise (Egypt, Libya, and Israel)
  • Testudo (Testudo) marginata — marginated tortoise (Southern Europe)
  • Testudo (Agrionemys) horsfieldii — Russian tortoise (Central Asia)
  • Testudo (Chersine) hermanni — Hermann’s tortoise (southern Europe)
    • Note: The taxonomy of the Greek tortoises is unsettled due to to their huge range around the Mediterranean Sea, and the various terrains, climates, and biotopes of their range across three continents.

North America

  • Gopherus agassizii — Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Mojave desert)
  • Gopherus berlandieri — Texas tortoise (Texas)
  • Gopherus evgoodei — Sinaloan thornscrub tortoise (Mexico)
  • Gopherus flavomarginatus — (Chihuahuan desert)
  • Gopherus morafkai — Morafka’s desert tortoise (Sonoran desert)
  • Gopherus polyphemus — gopher tortoise (southeastern United States)

South America

  • C. carbonarius – red-footed tortoise (Amazon basin)
  • C. chilensis – Chaco tortoise (Patagonia region of Argentina)
  • C. denticulatus – yellow-footed tortoise (Amazon basin)
  • Chelonoidis niger* – Galápagos tortoise – with 12 living subspecies:
    • C. n. becki – Volcán Wolf giant tortoise (Isabela island)
    • C. n. chathamensis – San Cristóbal giant tortoise (San Cristóbal island)
    • C. n. darwini – Santiago Island giant tortoise (Santiago island)
    • C. n. donfaustoi – eastern Santa Cruz tortoise (Santa Cruz island)
    • C. n. duncanensis – Pinzón Island giant tortoise (Pinzón island)
    • C. n. guentheri – Sierra Negra giant tortoise (Isabela island)
    • C. n. hoodensis – Hood Island giant tortoise (Española island)
    • C. n. microphyes – Volcán Darwin giant tortoise (Isabela island)
    • C. n. phantasticus – Fernandina Island tortoise (Fernandina Island)
    • C. n. porteri – western Santa Cruz tortoise (Santa Cruz island)
    • C. n. vandenburghi – Volcán Alcedo giant tortoise (Isabela island)
    • C. n. vicina – Cerro Azul giant tortoise (Isabela island)
      • *The Turtle Taxonomy Working Group in 2021 released a study supporting classification as subspecies due to genetic analysis, although some researchers consider the subspecies each to be a species. The taxonomic status of this group of tortoises is not fully resolved.

Sources:Turtles of the World: A Guide to Every Family” by Jeff Lovich and Whit Gibbons; additional expert and internet sources.