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Northern Spider Tortoise

Pyxis arachnoides brygooi


  • Madagascar


  • Coastal forests


  • Grasses
  • Young leaves
  • Roots
  • Insects

Both the common name (Spider tortoise) and species name (arachnoides) make reference to the beautiful web-like pattern on their carapace, or shell.

One of the world’s smallest tortoises, this species rarely grows longer than 8 inches.  Though young plant leaves and grasses make up most of their diet, this species has been known to search through cow manure for the insect larvae living within.

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