What do tortoises eat?

Tortoises can basically be divided up into three groups: tropical, Mediterranean and grazing. These three groupings have broadly different diets, but it should be emphasized that such a broad consideration is only a starting point for deciding what to feed your pet. Expert keepers will adapt these basic dietary groupings for particular species, and even for different weather conditions, ages and seasons.

To help you visualize the diet of these tortoises, we find it helpful to show word clouds. The size of the words in each picture is proportional to the quantity of that food type the animal should be given.


There are four Mediterranean tortoises: the Hermann tortoise, the Horsfield’s tortoise, the Kleinmann’s tortoise and the Greek tortoise.

Tropical tortoises

Tropical tortoises are omnivores native to rainforest regions of the world. These include the red-footed tortoise, the yellow-footed tortoise, the Asian forest tortoise and dozens of other species that are rarely kept as pets.

Grazing tortoises

These herbivorous tortoises subsist on a diet mostly of grass, being adapted to arid grassland regions. Species include the Leopard tortoise, the African Sulcata tortoise, and the Indian star tortoise.