Kinixys lobatsiana

(Power, 1927)
Lobatse hinge-back tortoise

This southern African tortoise was elevated to full species status by Broadley (1993). Its elongated, rather narrow carapace (to 16.7 cm) is slightly domed to flattened with a low, disrupted medial keel, strongly reverted and serrated posterior marginals, and a well-developed hinge. Little indention occurs in the cervical region. The narrow, elongated cervical scute is followed by five vertebrals that are usually broader than long (the 1st may be longer than broad). Vertebral 5 is flared, and the supracaudal scute is undivided. A medially reddish brown, broken, radiated pattern is present on each scute; ground color is reddish to yellowish brown in juveniles and adult females; adult males are uniformly brownish to reddish brown. The hingeless plastron is large, with only slightly projecting gular scutes which may lack a shallow medial notch. The short posterior hindlobe bears only a shallow notch. Present are 2-3 small axillary scutes and a moderate to large inguinal scute that touches the femoral scute. The plastral formula is abd > hum > an > fem >< pect > gul. The plastron is yellow with a few dark radiations. The brown to yellowish brown head is small to moderate with a nonprojecting snout and a slightly hooked upper jaw. The prefrontal scale is subdivided; the large frontal scale is usually single, but occasionally is subdivided. The forelimb has large, overlapping scales on the anterior surface, and the forefoot has five claws.
Males have concave plastra and long, thick tails. Females larger than males.

This hinge-back is restricted to northern South Africa and southeastern Botswana.

Geographic Variation
Broadley (1993) commented that South African K. lobatsiana have more distinct markings that do those tortoises from southeastern Botswana.

K. lobatsiana inhabits rocky hillsides with mixed Acacia and Combretum woodland to tropical bushveld (Broadley, 1989c).

Natural History
Jacobsen (in Broadley, 1993) reported that a female laid six eggs on 13 April, three of which hatched 313 days later.
This tortoise is omnivorous; mushrooms, plant remains, millipedes, beetles, and snails are listed as foods by Broadley (1993).

IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Not listed.