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Chersobius solus

Chersobius solus is the only dwarf tortoise that is endemic to Namibia. It grows up to 15 cm, and has an orange or brown carapace, with dark pigmentation on the scute edges. Males have a concave plastron, but not as pronounced as in some other Padlopers. Neither males nor females have buttock tubercles. Females produce clutches that consist of single eggs.

Chersobius solus

Chersobius solus plastron

In the wild
Chersobius solus occurs from Aus to Lüderitz in the west and Hunsberg in the south (all Namibia). Furthermore, a dead specimen was found as far north as Tiras mountains, in 1999. The area is arid, and receives most rain in late summer and autumn. The species is confined to rocky terrain, where population densities appear to be low. This species has been very poorly studied, and its biology is almost entirely unknown.

Habitat of Chersobius solus.

Remains of Chersobius solus.

Distribution range of Chersobius solus (from Branch 1998).

In captivity
Although Dwarf Tortoise Conservation does not have experience keeping Chersobius solus in captivity, the foundation has assisted a Namibian keeper of the species to process and publish his results.

Enclosure for Chersobius solus.

Chersobius solus in the process of hatching (photograph by Alfred Schleicher).