Geochelone Elegans,or The Sri Lankan Star Tortoise is an average sized tortoisecommonly foundin scrub forests and dry areas in Sri Lanka and India. TheGeochelone Elegans is a Star Tortoise and as the name suggests its body is covered with star shaped patterns.The carapace has numerous star shaped patterns and designs and is highly domed. The scutes on the carapace rise and form pyramids and stripes originate from its apex along all sides forming the star pattern.The unique mixture of pyramids and bright yellow stars on a black, brown, tan or Olive colored carapace makes The Sri Lankan Star Tortoise one of the most sought after and the most beautiful tortoises in the world. The carapace is non-serrated and keelless except for the pyramids. Compared to their Indian cousins the Sri Lankan Star tortoises are brighter and have more elaborate stripes and pyramids. The carapace not only makes them beautiful but also offers protection to the head and the limbs and other vulnerable parts of its body. The patterns also provide an incredible camouflage for their natural habitat. The plastron is largeand almost completely covers the under belly. It is slightly notched at the posterior end. The star patterns are also visible on the plastron.The female Geochelone Elegans are larger than the males and can grow up to 10 inches. They also have a broader carapace than the males. The SriLankan Star tortoise arecalm, sociable tortoises that adapt to their keepers and co-inhabitants in no time. They have fairly long lifespanand live up to 30 to 80 years.
The Sri Lankan Star Tortoise Habitat
They are endemic to Hot and humid areas of Sri Lanka and India and prefer open spaces. They inhabit a wide range of habitats ranging from dry or semi-arid areas, scrubs, agricultural land or grasslands. The Sri Lankan Star Tortoise are shy turtles and though very sociable they might not react well to handling. They recognise their keepers but can be easily stressed with even mild handling. For housing in captivity a 6 feet long by 6 feet wide cage is good enough to accommodate a couple or a small group of Geochelone Elegans. They are not the best at climbing and even the slightest bump gives them enough trouble. It is advised that their cage has an even lining of soil and has little or no bumps. It is strongly advised that you keep them in open areas, like gardens. You can plant some amounts of alfalfa or grass that they can eat at leisure. These are no good at digging or climbing hence even a one foot wall around their area would ensure that they never escape.The optimum temperature for Sri LankanStar Tortoise is between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you cannot provide them direct sunlight you can use a UVB light.
The Sri Lankan Star Tortoise Diet
The Geochelone Elegans mostly herbivores and for those in captivity a completely herbivores diet is suggested. You can feed them a variety of grasses, leafy vegetables and fruits. Overfeeding often leads to obesity and other health condition and hence the Tortoise should be fed only in adequate amounts.