Reproduction and nesting in the ringed map turtle (Graptemys oculifera) were investigated in the Pearl River of west-central Mississippi in 1995 and 1996. Nesting occurred from mid-May until mid-July but peaked in mid-June. Minimum carapace length of females at sexual maturity was 130 mm, but mean size at maturity was between 130 and 140 mm. Mean and modal CSs were 3.7 and 3. Larger females were gravid earlier than smaller ones and both egg and CS declined as the nesting season progressed. CS was positively correlated with both female carapace length and body mass. Mean egg length, width, and mass were 38.8 mm, 22.7 mm, and 11.8 g, respectively. Hatchlings averaged 35.5 mm carapace length and 8.9 g in mass. Annual clutch frequency may range from 0.96 to 1.42, and a minimum of ca. 60% of females reproduced on an annual basis. Predators destroyed an average of 86% of nests each year. Major vertebrate nest predators were armadillos, raccoons, and fish crows. Invertebrate egg predators destroyed an additional 24% of eggs known to be fertile.

You do not currently have access to this content.