The Reproductive-Biology Of The Female Loggerhead Musk Turtle, Sternotherus-Minor-Minor, From The Southern Part Of Its Range In Central Florida
Abbreviated Journal Title
Previous reports of loggerhead musk turtle (Sternotherus minor) reproduction have not attempted to control for variation in latitude, local population differences, and annual variation. This study attempts to control for these variables by analyzing turtles from one population (at the southern edge of its range) for one reproductive season. Female musk turtles mature after 6 yr and at approximately 60 mm plastron length. Vitellogenesis begins in mid-September and the first clutch is laid in late October. Oviposition continues until mid-June when follicular regression begins. A brief but distinct ovarian quiescent period is evident in August. Mean clutch size is 3.0 (range = 1-5; mode = 3). Four clutches per year are common and some females probably produce five. Similarities with previously studied populations of S. minor include timing of the reproductive cycle, mean female size, and size and age at maturity. Mean clutch size in S. minor in Central Florida is significantly larger than elsewhere. This difference is explained by more females producing three eggs. Annual reproductive potential is enhanced in the Central Florida population, presumably due to greater resource availability.
Etchberger, Cory R. and Ehrhart, Llewellyn M., "The Reproductive-Biology Of The Female Loggerhead Musk Turtle, Sternotherus-Minor-Minor, From The Southern Part Of Its Range In Central Florida" (1987). Faculty Bibliography 1980s. 599.