Geochelone Platynota Care Sheet

Burmese Star Tortoise

Taxonomy

Common name: Burmese Star Tortoise

Scientific name: Geochelone platynota

Orgin: Myanmar Burma

 

Setups

 

Indoor Housing

 

Enclosures

  • LARGE, enclosed enclosures are preferred. It helps maintain humidity during high growth phase. Minimum size for a SHORT TERM (nights, bad weather) enclosure about 5x2 ft or 6x3 ft (e.g. Waterland tubs) for one small adult tortoise.
  • Youngsters do well when raised with higher ambient humidity, for example, in a half or fully closed vivarium.
  • Babies are not put outside until at least a year of age to promote proper smooth growth.
  • Year round warm temps are required.
  • Avoid cold & damp conditions, but warm & humid is ok.

 

Lighting

  • Our preference is to use separate UVB T5.0HO bulbs with separate ambient lighting. Combination bulbs will fail to provide UVB for an extended period of time.

Heating

  • Ceramic emitters work well.
  • Provide additional heat at night if the room is cold; reptile radiant heat panels, room heaters etc.
  • Keep the enclosure totally dark at night.

Substrates

  • Recommended indoor enclosure substrates include:, coconut coir, coco coir mix, and cypress mulch.
  • Popular substrates for humid hides include sphagnum moss and coconut coir.
  • Feed on shallow trays, large tiles.

Temperature

  • Daytime ambient temp 85-88 °F
  • 90-100+ °F directly under the basking bulb, adults can tolerate higher basking temps than babies.
  • 75-80 °F in the coolest corner of the pen.
  • Night temp down to +-75 °F ok in dry conditions, but 75-80+ °F with higher ambient humidity or damp substrate.
  • These temperature numbers are just basic starting guidelines, not exact requirements. It all depends on your specific setup and circumstances. If in doubt, it's better to keep Stars a bit warmer than cooler. If kept too cold, they can develop runny noses and other respiratory problems.

Humidity

  • If star tortoises are kept too dry and hot, they are prone to dehydration, especially babies. This can lead to kidney problems and urinary stone formation. Both can be fatal.
  • Moderate humidity 40-75+ % is ok for adults.
  • Youngsters benefit from a higher ambient humidity, up to 70-80+ %
  • The higher the humidity, the higher the temperature should be; popular rule of thumb is 80/80 (min 80 °F with ~ 80% humidity).
  • Babies especially benefit from humid hide boxes or warm, damp substrate areas; babies can also be raised in well controlled vivariums.
  • Another choice is to use a warm, humid vivarium with a door to an open table that provides a drier and cooler area. www.APcages.com is recommended.

Outdoor Housing

General

  • Natural sunlight is the best UVB source, and it's free :O).
  • Keep outdoors as much as possible for UVB exposure and opportunity to exercise.
  • Adults can stay outside 24/7 in warmer climates if heated houses are provided for cooler nights.
  • Babies can be put out on warm and sunny days, min 70-75 °F, ensure adequate shade and cool drinking water during these outings.

Enclosures

  • ALWAYS provide a shallow water dish; in hot weather, put it in a shady area to keep the water cooler.
  • Provide several shady areas, bushes and hides.
  • Adults, make the enclosure as large as possible.
  • Babies: cover the top with wire netting etc. to protect from predators.
  • Stars are not the best climbers and they are not big diggers, so they won't climb over the walls (if adequately high) of the enclosure or dig under them to escape.
  • Provide sunny slopes or raised laying beds for adult egg laying females.
  • Plant the enclosure with edible greenery, check lists of toxic plants to avoid.
  • Burmese Star tortoises (Geochelone platynota) seem to be more adaptable and robust.

Diet

DIET

  • Feed high fiber foods like weeds, grasses, leaves, flowers, cactus pads, dried salad hay, etc.
  • Romaine, Collard, Chicory, Spring Mix are offered.
  • Higher fiber, lower protein is best. Offer very little fruit, if any.
  • No animal protein, no dog or cat food.
  • Feed as large VARIETY of plants as possible.

Supplements

  • Calcium powder (plain, with no Vit D3) use varies among keepers from daily to 1-2x a week, or less.
  • Little or no vitamin supplementation needed if fortified foods, like Mazuri or Zoo Med, are fed frequently (except a self help calcium source like cuttlebones).
  • Growing babies and egg laying females may need more frequent supplementation.
  • be CAREFUL with vitamin D3, overdose is toxic, no vitamin D3 supplementation necessary if kept outdoors with free access to the sun much of the time.

Water

  • Keep a flat drinking water bowl in the enclosure.
  • The water dish can be clay and very shallow for youngsters so that they can climb in and out of it easily. We add river rocks to prevent babies from flipping over.
  • Babies should be soaked daily to help with hydration, unless your tortoise soaks it's self.
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