The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 03. Aspects of the population ecology of Mauremys caspica in North West Africa

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Open Access

pp.130-136

Authors: R. Meek

Abstract: Field observations have been made on a North African population of Mauremys caspica leprosa. Measurements on 73 animals has provided information on population structure and morphometrics. In a sample of 67 terrapins measured in September carapace lengths ranged from 22- 1 86mm although the majority (59.7 percent) were below 80mm. Body masses ranged from 4-906g but most animals (? 1 .6 per cent) were below IOOg. Females grow larger than and outnumbered males by 2. 1 2: I, terrapins above one year outnumbered hatchlings by 4. 1 5: I. Equations have been produced relating growth annuli (age) to carapace length. These indicate that females grow faster than males but that males outlive females. A general equation predicts that large animals (>200mm C. length) may attain at least 26 years in field populations. Younger animals predominated in the population and 68. l per cent were aged less than seven years. Equations defining the relationship between body mass and the principal dimensions of the shell have indicated sexual d imorphic trends in shell morphometry during growth . M. caspica were found with leeches, shell damage and algal growth on the carapace.

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