DEEP: Atlantic Ridley

Atlantic Ridley

(Lepidochelys kempii)

{Atlantic Ridley Turtle}

IDENTIFICATION: A small to medium size marine species with front flippers and strongly webbed rear feet. Five or more costal scutes on each side of the circular olive green or gray carapace. The first costal on each side contacts the nuchal scute. Usually four, rarely five, large scutes on the bridge (the area that connects the carapace and greatly reduced plastron). Each of these bridge scutes contains a distinctive pore near its posterior edge. Adults are 60-70 cm carapace length. Animals found in Long Island Sound are immature and therefore much smaller (22-33 cm).

Immature Atlantic ridleys are not uncommon in Long Island Sound. Most ridley reports from Long Island Sound are from the north shore of Long Island. Klemens (1993) reported that a ridley fitted with a radio-transmitter was tracked to the waters off Stratford. The Atlantic ridley has been seriously affected by uncontrolled taking of eggs on its nesting beaches in Mexico and by entanglement in fishing gear and shrimp nets. The Atlantic ridley is strictly protected as an "Endangered Species" both under state and federal (ESA) law.

Turtles | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut