Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (the crown group of the superorder Chelonia), characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. Turtle may either refer to the Testudines as a whole, or to particular Testudines which make up a form taxon that is not monophyletic—see also sea turtle, terrapin, tortoise, and the discussion below.
Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is one of five tortoise species traditionally placed in the genus Testudo, which also includes the well-known Marginated Tortoise (T. marginata), Greek Tortoise (T. graeca), and Russian Tortoise (T. horsfieldii), for example. Three subspecies are known: the Western Hermann's Tortoise (T. h. hermanni), the Eastern Hermann's Tortoise (T.h. boettgeri) and Dalmatian Tortoise (T.h. hercegovinensis). Sometimes mentioned subspecies T.h. peleponnesica is not yet confirmed to be genetically different to T.h. boettgeri.Testudo hermanni can be found throughout southern Europe. The western population (hermanni) is found in eastern Spain, southern France, the Baleares islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, south and central Italy (Tuscany). The eastern population (boettgeri) Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and Greece. While hercegovinensis populates coasts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro.