Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
Noah M
Posts: 2289
Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL
Contact:

Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by Noah M » September 2nd, 2014, 4:25 pm

I posted these in the SE chapter first, and the growing consensus there is that this is a pretty dark individual. So I thought I would put it here and see what everybody else thinks.

My wife and I found it road cruising in Levy Co, FL in the late afternoon. It was first spotted in some grass by the side of the road. It looked like a small tire moving through the weeds. I checked the immediate area and did not see any freshly burned areas. I thought maybe it was black because it had crawled through some soot or ash. It did not appear to be any more dusty or dirty than any other tortoises I've found. Most of the ones I've seen look like the one in my avatar picture, a fairly uniform tan, tawny, khaki or light brown color.

Have any of you ever seen one so dark, and do you have pictures for comparison?

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by monklet » September 2nd, 2014, 4:44 pm

Maybe that's what happens after being doused with too much gasoline :cry: ...not perfectly serious but???

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by justinm » September 3rd, 2014, 4:31 am

Could just be what happens to an old one. This happens to a lot of Red Eared Sliders that are considered old.

User avatar
Noah M
Posts: 2289
Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL
Contact:

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by Noah M » September 3rd, 2014, 4:43 am

Dr. Krysko, the head of the herpetology division at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told me this morning that dark tortoises such as this one are not uncommon, and he finds them most frequently from the northeast coast of the state.

Either way, its a neat looking tortoise. :D

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4314
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by Kelly Mc » September 3rd, 2014, 8:32 am

justinm wrote:Could just be what happens to an old one. This happens to a lot of Red Eared Sliders that are considered old.

I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if Dr Krysko has known of younger for sure guys that are so black, or if he think it is mel aggregates acquired over time?

Either way its a baddass tortoise.

User avatar
Christopher
Posts: 140
Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 7:53 pm
Location: SFL
Contact:

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise

Post by Christopher » September 3rd, 2014, 11:48 am

I see ones like this all the time, not unusual or uncommon at all.

Post Reply