Lepidochelys kempii   (Garman, 1880)

Kemp's ridley turtle
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Lepidochelys kempii
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Reptilia | Testudines | Cheloniidae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Demersal.  Tropical; 60°N - 9°N, 98°W - 17°E (Ref. 1397)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Atlantic and the Mediterranean (Malta).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 61.3  range ? - ? cm Max length : 74.8 cm CL male/unsexed; (Ref. 74991); 65.7 cm CL (female); common length : 65.6 cm CL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1397); max. published weight: 0.00 g

Short description Morphology

Body mass lower than 50,000 g. Carapace of adults are nearly round. Head: moderate-sized; subtriangular. Hatchlings: longer carapace and larger head. As it grows, carapace changes its shape and becomes a little wider. Head with 2 pairs of prefrontal scales. Carapace: with 5 central, 5 pairs of lateral and 12 pairs of marginal scutes; bridge areas have 4 scutes. Each with a pore which is the opening of the Rathke’s gland. This gland plays a pheromonal role in maintaining the integrity of the massed nesting assemblage of females just off the beaches in which it releases an odoriferous substance before and during their arrival. One visible claw on fore flippers; hatchlings show two, in rear flippers 1 or 2 claws. Color: in adults, plain olive-grey dorsally, white or yellowish underneath; in hatchlings, jet black when wet; changes significantly with age; after 10 months, plastron is nearly white.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

One of the smallest of the sea turtles. Usually inhabits sandy and muddy bottoms that are rich in crustaceans. A carnivorous species mostly feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, fishes and vegetable fragments. Mating season occurs from April to the end of July. Females are occasionally escorted or seen mating at the near surf area. This turtle are known to be day-time nesters and mass nesting takes place on windy days. The females lay eggs from 1.4 to 1.55 times each season with a number of 102 eggs per clutch. Incubation period lasts for 45 to 58 days depending on temperature and humidity. Commercial exploitation of this species is not allowed throughout its distribution range (Ref. 1397). Usually inhabits sandy and muddy bottoms that are rich in crustaceans (Ref. 1397). A carnivorous species that mostly feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, fishes, vegetable fragments and so on. Mating season occurs from April to the end of July. Females are occasionally escorted or seen mating at the near surf area. This turtle are known to be day-time nesters and mass nestings takes place on windy days. The females lay eggs from 1.4 to 1.55 times each season with a number of 102 eggs per clutch. Eggs looks like ping-pong balls with size ranging between 3.4 and 4.5 cm; and weigh from 24 to 40 g. Incubation period lasts for 45 to 58 days depending on temperature and humidity (Ref. 1397). Temperature-dependent Sex Determination (TSD) is demonstrated in this species (Ref. 83971).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Mating season occurs from April to the end of July. Females are occasionally escorted or seen mating at the near surf area. This turtle are known to be day-time nesters and mass nestings takes place on windy days. The females lay eggs from 1.4 to 1.55 times each season with a number of 102 eggs per clutch. Eggs looks like ping-pong balls with size ranging between 3.4 and 4.5 cm; and weigh from 24 to 40 g. Incubation period lasts for 45 to 58 days depending on temperature and humidity (Ref. 1397). Temperature-dependent Sex Determination (TSD) is demonstrated in this species (Ref. 83971).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Hirth, H.F. 1993. (Ref. 97534)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
| FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Morphology
Larvae
Abundance
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 18.3 - 27.3, mean 24.2 (based on 614 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown