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Nesting Habits of Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) on the Atlantic Coast of Florida

Richard A. Seigel
Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1903-)
Vol. 83, No. 4 (1980), pp. 239-246
DOI: 10.2307/3628414
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3628414
Page Count: 8
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Nesting Habits of Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) on the Atlantic Coast of Florida
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Abstract

The reproductive habits of the Florida east coast terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin tequesta were studied from 1977 to 1979 at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Brevard County, Florida. Nesting occurred only on dike roads, in contrast to other subspecies of Malaclemys which normally nest on sand dunes. Nesting occurred from April to July, during daylight hours, and reached a peak during periods of high air temperatures and clear skies. Mean clutch size was 6.7, and up to three clutches may be laid each year. The clutch size of M. t. tequesta is considerably smaller than that of northern populations of Malaclemys. Small clutch size is apparently correlated with an increase in egg and hatchling size, which may result in higher survivorship of offspring in southern populations.

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