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Spider Tortoise Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Pyxis arachnoides arachnoides
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Spider tortoises are found only on the island of Madagascar.

  • Status

    Spider tortoises are critically endangered due to habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Madagascar Spider Tortoise Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Habitat

    This species occupies the desert-like region of southern Madagascar.

  • Niche

    The spider tortoise spends much of the dry season burrowed beneath the surface in a state of slowed metabolism called aestivation. The species emerges with the rains, feeding on the fresh greenery that follows.

  • Life History

    Females lay a single egg after breeding, a reproductive pattern that limits the species' natural recovery.


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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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