Black Spot On Tortoise Head

Raising animals can be an incredibly rewarding experience, we get to witness these creatures grow, develop personality traits, and live alongside us as companions.

If something strange happens to your turtle, like a black spot appearing on its head, you’d be right to be confused.

Tortoise has black spots on his head – Possible reasons

A tortoise’s shell color tells us a lot about its personality.

If you see a black spot on your tortoise’s head, there are a number of reasons why

Let’s go through them

Black Spot On Tortoise’s Head – 3 Possible Reasons

It’s the Tortoise’s Ear Covering

The dark patch on the tortoise’s back could just be his ear coverings.

Turtles do not have ears but they do have ear drums on the side of their heads, turtles have scales covering this area called the carapace.

If you look at the back of your turtle’s shell you should notice the same dark patch.

This could mean that the scales are shedding.

What you should do?

It is normal for turtles, so you don’t have to do anything about it


Turtles can develop fungal skin infections if they are kept in inappropriate conditions.

If your tortoise lives in an aquarium or glass tank with poor water quality, then he/she can develop a fungal infection.

A black spot will appear on a tortoise that has a fungal infection.

This spot can occur on its head, neck, and legs.

What you should do 

The best thing you can do for your tortoise at this stage is to take it to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.

Your veterinarian will examine your pet, do some blood work and a fecal exam, and then offer treatment for the fungal infection.

Your veterinarian will notice whether your turtle is sick in any other ways than just being lethargic.

If he does, he will also check your turtle over for signs of illness.

A veterinarian may suggest putting your pet on a tortoise table instead of a fish tank because this type of treatment helps prevent the spread of disease.

A veterinarian may also suggest replacing your existing substrate with a fresh substrate that holds some moisture, but not too much moisture to where the tortoise can develop an infection.

You would also need to make sure that the tortoise’s enclosure is set to the proper temperature, which is between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just a smudge of food

You should hold your turtle 3 – 4 times a week for about 10-15 minutes

If your tortoise gets a smear of food on its head, between the time where you put it down and pick it up again, then this may be what you’re seeing

What should you do

If there is any doubt about the source of the smudges on your turtle’s head, take him/her to the vet immediately.

Wipe the black spot on your tortoise’s head with a damp cloth.

If it comes off, then you don’t have to worry.

What does a dehydrated tortoise look like?

Dehydrated tortoises have dry, puckered and flaky skin

The problem for new owners is that tortoise skin already looks dry and wrinkled compared to mammalian skin.

The trick is being able to notice differences in texture, appearance, and elasticity and it can be a bit difficult if you’re a new owner

So a better and a more obvious sign could be that their eyes have become more sunken.

If you’re in doubt and not sure about your turtle being dehydrated, it’s best to take it to the vet to get them checked out

Better to be safe than sorry!

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