The Naturalist on Chios, Greece.

Mike Taylor , Liverpool Museum.

Armadillos, Terrapins and Tortoises on Chios

There are two species of tortoise, both generally distributed on Chios, Spur-thighed Tortoise, Testudo graela and Marginated Tortoise, Testudo marginata, which can be found from time to time slowly walking along in country areas. I have found them up to 2000 feet in altitude.

However I was very surprised in 1997 when I found a Nine-banded Armadillo, in some uncultivated land between Avgonima and Anavatos. It seemed to be in good condition and well fed and happy in its environment. In many ways it had found a home from home far away from its native land of Florida. I can only assume that it was a pet which had escaped from a nearby household.

A visit to Marmaro Marsh or the area near to the old aqueduct in the eastern part of Chios Town in the summer months is sure to reward the naturalist with close views of Striped-necked Terrapins, Mauremys caspica, as they bask in the sunshine whilst pulled out on a log or drainage ditch embankment.

Loggerhead Turtles, Caretta caretta, can be encountered from time to time in the seas surrounding Chios, one turtle bred at Komi in 1992.


© M.J.Taylor 2003. - email: mike.taylor(at) 

Home - Map of Chios - Introduction - Birds on Chios - Wildflowers on Chios - Insects on Chios - Butterflies and Moths - Bees, Wasps and Ants - Flies - Snakeflies, Antlions and Lacewings - Dragonflies - Beetles - Grasshoppers and Crickets - Scorpions and Spiders on Chios - Mammals on Chios - Frogs and Toads on Chios - Lizards and Snakes on Chios - Armadillos, Terrapins and Tortoises on Chios - Marine Fish on Chios - Photographs - Acknowledgements