Keywords

Diamondback terrapin, Turtles, Florida

Abstract

The reproductive biology of the Florida east coast terrapin, Malalemys terrapin tequesta was studied during 1977-1978 at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Brevard County, Florida. Mating occurred in small canals and ditches during late march and April. Terrapins exhibited a poorly developed courtship behavior system: this was attributed to the relative isolation of the species due to its brackish water habitat. Nesting occurred on dike roads, rather than on sand dunes as reported for other races of Malaclemys. Air temperature was the most important factor controlling nesting activity. One to three clutches were laid each year. Malaclemys appeared to exhibit a clinal variation in clutch size between northern and southern populations. Reduced clutch size in the south is explained by a relative increase in egg and hatchling size, possible resulting in greater survivorship of offspring in southern populations. Adult females nesting on dike roads are subject to severe predation from raccoons.

Notes

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Graduation Date

Summer 1979

Advisor

Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Natural Sciences

Degree Program

Biology

Format

PDF

Pages

iv, 40 pages

Language

English

Rights

Public Domain

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Identifier

DP0013258

Subjects

Diamondback terrapin, Turtles -- Florida

Collection (Linked data)

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Included in

Biology Commons

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