Nevada State Reptile
Desert Tortoise (common name)
Gopherus agassizii (scientific name)
The desert tortoise became the official state reptile of Nevada in 1989, and of California in 1972. Students at the Benjamin Bubb School in Mountain View, California, found that the state had no official reptile and suggested to Assemblyman Richard D. Hayden of Sunnyvale that the situation be remedied. The desert tortoise is a species of tortoise native to the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It can reach a length of 10–14 inches (25–36 cm), with males being slightly larger than females. Grasses form the bulk of its diet, but it also eats herbs, annual wildflowers, and new growth of cacti, as well as their fruit and flowers. Desert tortoise populations in some areas have declined by as much as 90 percent since the 1980s, and the Mojave population is listed as threatened. It is unlawful to touch, harm, harass, or collect wild desert tortoises.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Snapper, common snapper, ograbme
Male tortoises have larger tails compared to females, and a lower shell that is concave. Tortoises have upper dome-shaped shells that are dusty brown to dark brown in coloration. Their front legs are larger and flatter and are designed for digging, while the back legs are short and stumpy.
Up to 80–100 years
Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada, south through Arizona into Mexico.
Conservation: Threatened. It is unlawful to touch, harm, harass, or collect wild desert tortoises.
Herbs, grasses, wildflowers
Breeding interval: 2–3/year
Hatching period: August–October; incubation of 90-120 days
Average nest size: 4-8 eggs
Sexual Maturity: 15-20 years
Click to enlarge an image
Video of a Tortoise
Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press