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Karoo Padloper, Homopus boulengeri

Description
Homopus boulengeri has a shell shape that is very similar to Homopus signatus, but may grow slightly larger (up to 13 cm). However, the carapace pattern is entirely different. Homopus boulengeri has a uniformly coloured carapace, which may be yellow, brown, or reddish. The plastron of males is concave, and both sexes may have buttock tubercles. Females of this species probably produce single-egg clutches.


Homopus boulengeri male and female.

Homopus boulengeri male and female, plastron view.


In the wild
The species occurs in the Karoo (South Africa), roughly from Pearston and Wolwefontein in the east, to Sutherland and Carnarvon in the west. Most of the range receives summer rainfall. Homopus boulengeri is restricted to rocky habitats, where is may inhabitat ironstone as well as sandstone areas. This species has not been studied, and its biology is almost entirely unknown.


Homopus boulengeri in its natural habitat.

Sympatrically occurring Karoo Tent Tortoise, Psammobates tentorius tentorius.


Distribution range of Homopus boulengeri (from Branch 1998).

In captivity
The Homopus Research Foundation does not have experience with husbandry of this species, and there appear to be no published reports of husbandry elsewhere. Since all other Padlopers can be kept in captivity successfully, and because of the striking (morphological and presumably ecological) resemblance of this species with H. signatus, there are no reasons to expect that this species cannot be kept and bred successfully.

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