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Morphological differences between the two subspecies
Testudo hermanni hermanni is the only native tortoise in France. It has a light yellow to golden yellow carapace with large dark black patches. The plastron has two relatively continuous parallel longitudinal black bands.
Testudo hermanni boettgeri is less brightly coloured; it is pale to greenish yellow, with less defined and lighter black patches. The dark patches on the plastron are isolated or nonexistent.
Corsican Hermann’s tortoises (T. h. hermanni) are generally larger, with a more trapezoidal shape and lighter colour, not as contrasted as those found in the Var. In terms of morphology, they lie between the tortoises from the Var (and the Albères) and those from the Balkans. Genetically, they clearly belong to the western branch (ssp hermanni).