• Common name:

    The spider tortoise
  • ESF category:

  • IUCN category:

    Critical endangered
  • CITES:

    INT - Appendix I
    EU - Appendix A
  • Studbook coordinators:

    Frank Van Loon
  • Register your animals

    To register your animals or if you have other questions, please contact the studbook coordinator.

Species Description

The spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) is a species of tortoise in the Testudinidae family.

It is endemic to Madagascar and is one of only two species in the genus Pyxis.

Very little is known about the life cycle of this endangered tortoise, which is believed to live for up to 70 years. The remaining tortoises are found only in south western Madagascar, where they inhabit the spiny vegetation of the sandy coastal areas. Here they feed on young leaves, insect larvae, and even the droppings of larger animals.

Their trade is illegal in Madagascar, but they are extensively smuggled for food, body parts, and illegal pets.