Animalia > Chordata > Reptilia > Testudines > Testudinidae > Gopherus > Gopherus polyphemus

Gopherus polyphemus ((Florida) Gopher Tortoise; Gopher tortoise)

Synonyms: Gopherus polyphemus polyphemus; Testudo depressa; Testudo gopher; Testudo polyphemus

Wikipedia Abstract

This article is about a single species of tortoise. For related species in North America that are also called gopher tortoises, see GopherusThe gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a species of the Gopherus genus native to the southeastern United States. The gopher tortoise is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for 360 other animal species.
View Wikipedia Record: Gopherus polyphemus


Adult Weight [1]  12.13 lbs (5.50 kg)
Female Maturity [1]  10 years
Male Maturity [1]  10 years
Gestation [1]  90 days
Hibernates [2]  Yes
Litter Size [1]  8


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Everglades United States Neotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Florida sand pine scrub United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Middle Atlantic coastal forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
South Florida rocklands United States Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Southeastern conifer forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Southeastern mixed forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Biscayne National Park II 11085 Florida, United States
Canaveral National Seashore II 9090 Florida, United States
Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve 310228 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, United States      
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Cumberland Island National Seashore II 20629 Georgia, United States
Everglades and Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve   Florida, United States  
Fort Caroline National Memorial III 137 Florida, United States
Gulf Island National Seashore II 67487 Florida, Mississippi, United States
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge IV 38256 Florida, United States
South Atlantic Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 20317 South Carolina, United States  

Emblem of

Georgia (US)

Prey / Diet

Acalypha gracilens (slender threeseed mercury)[3]
Aristida stricta (pineland threeawn)[3]
Asimina longifolia (slimleaf pawpaw)[3]
Commelina erecta (whitemouth dayflower)[3]
Dyschoriste oblongifolia (oblongleaf snakeherb)[3]
Gaillardia aestivalis (lanceleaf blanketflower)[3]
Licania michauxii (gopher apple)[3]
Lithobates sevosus (Dusky Gopher Frog)[4]
Mimosa quadrivalvis var. angustata[3]
Opuntia humifusa (pricklypear)[3]
Physalis heterophylla (clammy groundcherry)[3]
Pinus palustris (Georgia pine)[3]
Pteridium aquilinum (northern bracken fern)[3]
Rhynchosia reniformis (dollarleaf)[3]
Stylosanthes biflora (endbeak pencilflower)[3]
Tradescantia ohiensis (bluejacket)[3]
Veronica hederifolia (ivyleaf speedwell)[3]
Zornia bracteata (viperina)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)1
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)1


Alligator mississippiensis (Alligator, Gator, American alligator, Florida alligator, Mississippi alligator, Louisiana alligator.)[5]


Parasitized by 
Alaeuris brevicollis <Unverified Name>[6]
Alaeuris gopheri <Unverified Name>[6]
Alaeuris longicollis <Unverified Name>[6]
Alaeuris paramazzottii <Unverified Name>[6]
Alaeuris venustus <Unverified Name>[6]
Atractis impura <Unverified Name>[6]
Tachygonetria tetrapapillata <Unverified Name>[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Audubon Zoo
Binder Park Zoo
Birmingham Zoo
Blank Park Zoo of Des Moines
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Brevard Zoo
Buffalo Zoological Gardens
Caldwell Zoo
Central Florida Zoological Park
Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park
Chehaw Wild Animal Park
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Denver Zoological Gardens
Dickerson Park Zoo
Florida Aquarium
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Jackson Zoological Park
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Louisville Zoological Garden
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Miami Metrozoo
Montgomery Zoo
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Newport Aquarium
Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Oklahoma City Zoological Park
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park
Prospect Park Zoo
Saint Louis Zoological Park
Salisbury Zoological Park
Silver Springs Park
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Tallahassee Museum of History and
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Tennessee Aquarium
Terrarium Vissenbjerg
Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum
Virginia Zoological Park
Zoo Atlanta
ZooAmerica (No. American Wildlife Pk.)


USA (along the Atlantic Coastal Plain in S South Carolina, Georgia, S Alabama, Florida, E Louisiana);



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
3Patterns of Folivory and Seed Ingestion by Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in a Southeastern Pine Savanna, Roger D. Birkhead, Craig Guyer and Sharon M. Hermann, Am. Midl. Nat. 154:143-151
4Anurans as prey: an exploratory analysis and size relationships between predators and their prey, L. F. Toledo, R. S. Ribeiro & C. F. B. Haddad, Journal of Zoology 271 (2007) 170–177
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access