Vol. 60, 2021
A Different Perspective on Sex Dimorphism in the Adult Hermann’s Tortoise: Geometric Morphometry
Sokol Duro1, Ozan Gündemir2,*, Bektaş Sönmez3, Tefik Jashari4, Tomasz Szara5, Gülsün Pazvant2, and Arben Kambo6
1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, 1000, Albania. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Duro)
Received 5 May 2020 / Accepted 20 January 2021
Eastern Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) is a subspecies of Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni)
found in Albania. Gender determination is one of the crucial elements
in determining the population dynamics in all species. Female and male
adult tortoises look different, but these differences can be difficult
to distinguish in captivity or when their sex indicators are deformed
or injured. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use indirect and
non-invasive methods such as geometric morphometric analysis to
determine the sex of adult tortoises. For the geometric morphometry, 17
female and 23 male Hermann’s tortoises were collected and photographed
from the hills and mountains around the Tirana district of Albania
between August and October 2019. Sexes were discriminated based on
geometric morphometry, and plastron shape was a better indicator than
carapace shape. In addition, abdominal, femoral and anal scutes on the
plastron and the ratio of femoral to pectoral suture lengths were
important for the sex distinction. Females had a larger plastron than
males; this may have been supported by fecundity selection, because a
large plastron suggests more volume in which to store eggs. The femoral
and anal scutes were larger in male tortoises, and serve as a stronger
base during mating. This study was conducted for adults only, and
future studies are needed to determine if these indicators also apply
to hatchlings and juveniles.
Key words: Testudo hermanni boettgeri, Sex discriminate, Geometric morphometry, Abdominal scutes, Albania.
Duro S, Gündemir O, Sönmez B, Jashari T, Szara T, Pazvant G, Kambo A.
2021. A different perspective on sex dimorphism in the adult Hermann’s
tortoise: geometric morphometry. Zool Stud 60:0m. doi:-.