Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa Günther, 1877

Seychelles giant tortoise



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Dipsochelys hololissa Günther, 1877; Testudo hololissa, Günther, 1875; Testudo elephantina Dumeril & Bibron, 1835; Testudo hololissa Günther, 1877; Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812; Testudo daudinii Dumeril & Bibron, 1835; Dipsochelys elephantina Dumeril & Bibron, 1835; Dipsochelys elephantina Bour, 1994; Dipsochelys hololissa Lucker, 2000; Geochelone hololissa Fritz & Havas, 2006; Aldabrachelys hololissa Günther, 1877


Conservation Status

Extinct in the wild?





Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Günther, A. C. L. G. (1877). The gigantic land tortoises (living and extinct) in the collection of the British Museum. London: Taylor & Francis. 96 pp.


Other references:

Austin, J. J., Arnold, E. N. and Bour, Roger. (2003). Was there a second adaptive radiation of giant tortoises in the Indian Ocean? Using mitochondrial DNA to investigate speciation and biogeography of Aldabrachelys (Reptilia, Testudinidae). Molecular Ecology 12: 1415-1424.

Bour, Roger. (1985 "1984"). Les tortues terrestres géantes des îles de l’océan Indien occidental: données géographiques, taxinomiques et phylogénétiques, pp. 17-76. In: F. de Broin and E. Jiménez-Fuentes (Eds.) Comunicaciones del I Simposium Internacional sobre Quelonios Fósiles, París, Octubre, 1983. Studia Geologica Salmanticensia, Volumen Especial 1 (Studia Palaeocheloniologica I) [1984].

Gerlach, Justin. (2003). Captive breeding of [i]Dipsochelys[/i] giant tortoises. Phelsuma 11: 8-12.

Gerlach, Justin. (2007). Giant tortoises of the Indian Ocean. Testudo 6(4): [pagination?].

Gerlach, Justin. (2011a). Aldabrachelys hololissa (Gunther, 1877) - Seychelles Giant Tortoise. In: Rhodin, A. G. J. et al. Chelonian Research Monographs 5: 061.1-061.5.

Gerlach, Justin. (2011b). Development of Distinct Morphotypes in Captive Seychelles–Aldabra Giant Tortoises. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 10(1): 102-112. [Abstract]

Gerlach, Justin. (2012). Skeletal ontogeny of Seychelles giant tortoises (Aldabrachelys/Dipsochelys). Scientific Research and Essays 7(9): 1083-1099.

Gerlach, Justin and Canning, K. L. (1996). On the Seychelles Giant Tortoise; its rediscovery and prospects for conservation. Proceedings of the International Congress of Chelonian Conservation, pp. 131-135.

Gerlach, Justin and Canning, K. L. (1998a). Taxonomy of Indian Ocean tortoises (Dipsochelys). Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3: 3-19.

Gerlach, Justin and Canning, K. L. (1998b) Identification of Seychelles giant tortoises. Linnaeus fund research report. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3: 133-135.

Palkovacs, Eric P., Gerlach, Justin and Caccone, A. (2002). [url=]The evolutionary origin of Indian Ocean giant tortoises[/url]. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 24: 216-227.

Palkovacs, Eric P. et al. (2003). Are the native giant tortoises from the Seychelles really extinct? A genetic perspective based on mtDNA and microsatellite data. Molecular Ecology 12(6): 1403-1413.

Uetz, P. et. al., The Reptile Database, , accessed December 11, 2010.


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