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New Records and Observations of Epibionts from Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Michael G. Frick, Kristina L. Williams, Emily J. Markesteyn, Joseph B. Pfaller and Rebecca E. Frick
Southeastern Naturalist
Vol. 3, No. 4 (2004), pp. 613-620
Published by: Eagle Hill Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3878022
Page Count: 8
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New Records and Observations of Epibionts from Loggerhead Sea Turtles
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Abstract

Loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta (Linnaeus) were sampled (n = 304) for epibionts while nesting in Georgia from 1998-2003. Twelve newly documented epibiont species were observed and represent the first records of a hermit crab and a sea star as sea turtle epibionts. We report some physical, behavioral and ecological characteristics of the newly documented epibionts, particularly because nothing is known of their life history in Georgia as sea turtle epibionts. We also discuss the role of epibiotic crabs as facultative associates of loggerhead turtles.

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