Aspects of the reproductive ecology of female turtles in New Mexico

Western North American Naturalist
By: , and 



Data on reproductive ecology of turtles in New Mexico are limited, and some species living there are among the least studied in the United States. We trapped 4 native species of turtles (Apalone spinifera, Chrysemys picta, Pseudemys gorzugi, and Trachemys gaigeae gaigeae) in the Rio Grande and Black River (Pecos River drainage) of New Mexico in June 2012 and 2013 to collect data on female reproductive ecology, including clutch size, egg size, timing of egg production, and percentage of gravid females. During our sampling, we found shelled eggs via X-radiography in only 3 native species: C. picta, P. gorzugi, and T. g. gaigeae. Clutch and egg sizes were within the range of previously reported values, although clutch size for P. gorzugi (10 eggs) is only the second published record for that data-deficient species. Clutch size increased with body size in T. g. gaigeae. We observed few differences between reproductive parameters for turtles in New Mexico and their conspecifics and congeners elsewhere in the United States, other than the observation that female C. picta may mature at smaller body sizes in New Mexico relative to other western populations elsewhere in its vast, primarily eastern North American range.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Aspects of the reproductive ecology of female turtles in New Mexico
Series title Western North American Naturalist
DOI 10.3398/064.076.0306
Volume 76
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 291
Last page 297
Country United States
State New Mexico
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details