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Dermochelys coriacea (VANDELLI, 1761)

IUCN Red List - Dermochelys coriacea - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaDermochelyidae, Chelonioidea, Testudines (turtles) 
Common NamesE: Leatherback Seaturtle, Leatherback Sea Turtle
G: Lederschildkröte
Russian: Кожистая черепаха
S: Laúd 
SynonymTestudo coriacea VANDELLI 1761
Testudo coriacea — LINNAEUS 1766: 350
Testudo arcuata CATESBY 1771: 40
Testudo lyra LACÉPÈDE 1788: 111
Testudo tuberculata PENNANT 1801 (in SCHOEPFF)
Chelonia lutaria RAFINESQUE 1814
Dermochelys BLAINVILLE 1816
Sphargis mercurialis MERREM 1820 (nom. subst. pro. T. coriacea LINNAEUS)
Dermochelis atlantica LESUEUR 1829 (nomen nudum)
Dermatochelys porcata WAGLER 1830 (nomen subst. pro. T. coriacea LINNAEUS)
Sphargis coriacea — GRAY 1831
Testudo coriacea — CUVIER 1831: 17
Sphargis Coriacea — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 560
Dermatochelys coriacea — GÜNTHER 1864
Sphargis mercurialis — GRAY 1873: 172
Sphargis coriacea var. schlegelii GARMAN 1884: 303
Dermochelys coriacea — BOULENGER 1889
Sphargis angusta PHILIPPI 1899
Dermochelys schlegelii — GARMAN 1908
Dermochelys coriacea schlegeli — SHANNON 1956
Dermochelys coriacea — STEBBINS 1985: 107
Dermochelys coriacea schlegeli — STEBBINS 1985
Dermochelys coriacea — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 77
Dermochelys coriacea — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Dermochelys coriacea — LINER 1994
Dermochelys coriacea — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 229
Dermochelys coriacea — COX et al. 1998: 137
Dermochelys coriacea — COGGER 2000: 185
Dermochelys coriacea — BONIN et al 2006
Dermochelys coriacea — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 45 
DistributionAtlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans,

Americas: from Canada (British Columbia) to Chile, USA (Alaska, New York etc.) and south to Argentina, Chile, and the Cape of Good Hope;
SE Mexico (incl. Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, Baja California, Jalisco, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Sonora), Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama [Villa et al.], Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)], Galapagos Islands, Uruguay, Brazil (Ceará, Rio de Janeiro etc.)

Africa: West and East coast of Africa (Eritrea, Iran, Principé and São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea, Gabon, etc.), Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Somalia, Mauritania, Cameroon, Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Madagascar, Gambia, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt

Asia: Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Korea, Vietnam, India (Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, Kerala, Gujarat)

Oceania: Micronesia

Europe: Labrador, Iceland, the British Isles, Norway,

Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Turkey, France, Portugal, Jordan

Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia)

according to the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals:
EC/WC/NE/NW/SE/SW Atlantic Ocean,
E/W Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Sea,
EC/NE/NW/SE/SW/WC Pacific Ocean,

Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia,
Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel,
Liberia, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar (= Burma), Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Thailand,
Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, USA (Washington, Western Atlantic: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas),
Venezuela, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (US), Zaire

13 finds in waters of Russia are known: in the Sea of Japan's Peter the Great Bay and the Rynda Bay, S Kuril Islands (Sea of Okhotsk) and Barents Sea (fide KHALIKOV, pers. comm.).

Type locality: "Mari mediterraneo, Adriatico varius" (=Mediterranean and Adriatic seas); restricted to Palermo, Italy by SMITH & TAYLOR 1950.  
TypesHolotype: MZP (also given as ZMUP = Museo Zoologico, Istituto di Zoologia, Zoologia Comparativo e Genetico, Universlta di Padova, Italy) unnumbered specimen, identified by Fretey and Bour 1980, Boll. Zool. 47:193-205. 
CommentTaxonomy: Dermochelys coriacea schlegeli (GARMAN 1884) is not recognized any more by recent authors (including FRITZ & HAVAS 2007).

Distribution: In Italy only 2 specimen have been found: a dead one in Puglia district and another one in September 1996 a few miles north of Sardinia [E. RAZZETTI, pers. comm.]

Habitat: marine.

Conservation status: critically endangered

Type species: Testudo coriacea VANDELLI 1761 is the type species of the genus Dermochelys BLAINVILLE 1816: 111. WERMUTH & MERTENS 1977 said that Testudo coriacea LINNAEUS is the type species. 
EtymologyThe name Dermochelys is formed from the Greek words derma (skin, hide) and chelys (tortoise, turtle), and refers to the coarse skin covering the carapace.

The name coriacea is derived from the Latin coriaceus (of leather) and refers to the species’ leatherlike carapace. 
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