Russian Tortoise Care

COMMON NAME: Russian Tortoise, Horsfield’s Tortoise

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Testudo horsfieldii

ADULT SIZE: 4-10 inches

Russian tortoises are endemic to Central Asia. They live in arid climates of Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. They are known for being hardy creatures and also having an active lifestyle and curious personality.


*Never keep ANY tortoise in an aquarium*

Russian Tortoises have similar care to that of the Hermann’s Tortoise. A minimum outdoor enclosure size of 4ft x 4ft is recommended. These tortoises like to explore their enclosures so have a variety of edible plants growing naturally, logs to climb over and explore, and places to hide are beneficial to their mental stimulation/wellbeing and health. Access to water at all times is essential as well as a hide box to escape the heat and feel safe at night.

Daytime temps range from 75-95 degrees Fahrenheit and nightime temps range from 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Russians can be allowed to brumate outdoors during the winter months as long as you provide them with the proper coldframe box.

These tortoises can be housed indoors in a 2ft x 4ft enclosure, as long as you provide proper UVA/UVB lighting. A heat/basking lamp is also required on one side of the enclosure to give the tortoise the option to sun/bask themselves when they want.


The Russian diet consists mainly of grasses, clover and leafy greens such as Romaine Lettuce, Green/Red Leaf Lettuce, etc. Fruit is offered occasionally as a treat and for hydration during the summer months. Mazuri Tortoise Diet is offered occasionally as well.