Diamondback Terrapin


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Diamondback Terrapin

 

(Malaclemys terrapin), a fresh-water turtle. The flattened carapace measures 15–20 cm in length in females, and 10–14 cm in males. The digits are webbed. The diamondback terrapin is found along the eastern seaboard of the USA, where it inhabits salt waters and brackish, swampy waters. It has a lifespan of 20–30 years. The female lays 20–30 eggs per season, which she buries in the ground near shores. The diamondback terrapin feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. It reproduces well in captivity and is raised for its prized flesh on special farms.

References in periodicals archive ?
In North Carolina, Avissar (2006) found that crabbers relocated their crab pots shoreward into shallow-water areas and tidal marsh creeks to avoid damage to the pots from sea turtles attempting to remove the bait, and Grant (6) noted that capture rates of diamondback terrapin decreased with distance from shore.
Diamonds in the Marsh: A natural history of the diamondback terrapin. University Press of New England, Lebanon, NH, 219 pp.
species are also being exported to Asian markets, including Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii), softshell turtles (Apalone spp.), sliders (Trachemys spp.), Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and others (Altherr & Freyer, 2000; Behler, 1997; Williams, 1999).
Wibbels said that the early research efforts showed a population on the brink, a view confirmed in the 2004 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource's book Alabama Wildlife, in which the Diamondback terrapin was listed as a highest conservation concern.
Emeric's idea that the expensive amphibians [sic] could be made to flourish on this coast." Emeric apparently returned to California from a trip to the East Coast with five dozen small diamondback terrapins. These he kept in a "pen of laths in the marsh near San Pablo," and they were eventually "turned loose to populate the marshes."
11:45 SIZE-CLASS DISTRIBUTION OF NORTHERN DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS (MALACLEMYS TERRAPIN TERRAPIN) WITHIN A NORTH EAST ATLANTIC SALT MARSH ESTUARY
Although the diamondback terrapin has not been listed as threatened or endangered in New Jersey, it is considered a species of special concern.
Other studies have concentrated on examining direct impacts of raccoons on prey species in marine coastal environments including eggs of diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin Feinberg and Burke, 2003; Butler et al., 2004), spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosura similes) (Platt et al., 2000), American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) (Fleming et al., 1976; Platt et al., 2000) and sea turtles (Ratnaswamy et al., 1997).
Recent research has indicated that the diamondback terrapin can represent a keystone predator in its salt marsh habitat (Silliman and Zieman, 2001; Silliman et al., 2005; Gustafson et al., 2006).
I was particularly impressed by Forsberg's 250 original photos of snapping, eastern spiny softshell, eastern mud, common musk, spotted, wood, bog, painted, box, Blanding's, red-bellied cooter, northern map, northern diamondback terrapin and green sea turtles.
Seventy-eight diamondback terrapin turtles, each weighing 2-3 pounds, were removed, said a spokesman for airport operator The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Reuters reported.