Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone Elegans)

Conservation status

IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable

Key Descriptions

As its name suggests, the Indian Star Tortoise earns its name from the star shaped pattern adorned on its domed shell. Radiating bright yellow markings on the scutes of their carapace, this petite sized tortoise originates from the dry & arid forests of India & Sri Lanka. A sheer beauty to behold, this has however made the Indian Star Tortoise a prized target for the exotic pet trade which has caused wild populations to suffer in numbers.


Indian Star Tortoises originate from a wide range in India where many dwell in semi-desert grasslands & moist deciduous forests.  They can be found mainly in dry scrub forests where they experience a distinct dry & wet season.  In this habitat, the Indian Star Tortoise thrive on a purely vegetarian diet where they consume a variety of plant matter from leaves, fruits & berries which can be found in these  arid environments.

Social Life

The species has been observed to be shy, calm & gentle while exhibiting rather social qualities when compared with other species of tortoises. In captivity, they have been known to be housed in multiple numbers due to their relatively small size & friendly disposition. Like most tortoises, over handling is frowned upon as it causes unnecessary stress to the animal. In the wild, Indian Star Tortoises have been observed to begin mating rituals at the beginning of the monsoon season. Being a diurnal species, they are mostly active in the early mornings & late in the afternoon when the sun and heat isn’t as intense.

Fun Facts


Fruits & Vegetables

Key Information

Origin:India and Sri Lanka
Size:Up to 30cm
Weight:Up to 2kg
Lifespan:Up to 80 years

Leave a Reply