The Texas Tortoise, Gopherus berlandieri, is one of four species of tortoise that are native to North America. Its range extends from southern Texas, southward into northern Mexico. The epithet berlandieri is in honor of the Belgian naturalist Jean Louis Berlandier. It has been also dubbed as Berlandier’s Tortoise.
The Texas Tortoise, like all species of gopher tortoise, is an adept burrower. They often have several different burrows in their territory which they retreat into during the heat of the day. Its preferred habitat is dry scrub and grasslands. Succulent plants, a preferred food of the Texas tortoise, are common in these areas. They especially like the fruit of cacti such as the prickly pear.
Photo by LA Dawson