Diamondback terrapin, Turtles, Florida
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.
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Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Natural Sciences
iv, 40 pages
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Diamondback terrapin, Turtles -- Florida
Seigel, Richard A., "The Reproductive Biology of the Diamondback Terrapin, Malaclemys Terrapin Tequesta" (1979). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 445.