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Lepidochelys kempii GARMAN, 1880

IUCN Red List - Lepidochelys kempii - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaCheloniidae (Carettinae), Testudines (turtles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Atlantic Ridley, Kemp’s Ridley Seaturtle
G: Atlantik-Bastardschildkröte 
SynonymLepidochelys kempii (GARMAN 1880)
Testudo viridi-squamosa LACÉPÈDE 1788 (nomen oblitum)
Testudo mydas minor SUCKOW 1798 (nomen oblitum)
Chelonia dussumierii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 557
Thalassochelys (Colpochelys) kempii GARMAN 1880
Thalassochelys kempii — BOULENGER 1889
Lepidochelys kempii — BAUR 1890
Lepidochelys olivacea kempi — SCHMIDT 1953
Lepidochelys kempi — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Lepidochelys kempii — LINER 1994
Lepidochelys kempii — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 77
Lepidochelys kempii — CROTHER 2000
Lepidochelys kempii — BONIN et al 2006 
DistributionCarribean Sea, Atlantic Ocean (EC/NE/NW/WC),

Europe: on the Northern Atlantic coasts of France, Spain, England (incl. Channel islands: Jersey), Portugal, but only rarely in the Mediterranean (Schleich et al. 1996, Iverson 1992)

Africa: Mauritania, other locations questionable (Iverson 1992)

Canada, USA (chiefly gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Atlantic coast as far north as New England and Nova Scotia: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine)
SE Mexico (Yucatan), Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)],

Type locality: restricted to Key West, Florida (by SMITH & TAYLOR 1950). Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
TypesSyntype: MCZ R-46538, R-46539 
CommentThe Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) was thought to have been a
hybrid of the loggerhead (Caretta) and either the hawks-bill (Eretmochelys) or green (Chelonia) sea turtles (see Carr, 1942). Today we know that L. kempii is a
distinct and valid species (Bowen, Meylan & Avise). However, BARBER et al. (2003) confirmed natural hybridization between a Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) by molecular analysis.

Reproduction: Lepidochelys kempii has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD, STANDORA & SPOTILA 1986, SARRE et al. 2004).

Nomenclature: see Opinion 660 (ICZN 1963) for nomenclatural issues.

Habitat: marine.

Conservation status: critically endangered 
References
  • BARBER, R.C.; CLARK T. FONTAINE; JOSEPH P. FLANAGAN AND EDWARD E. LOUIS, JR. 2003. Natural hybridization between a Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) confirmed by molecular analysis. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 4 (3): 701
  • Bartlett, R. D. & Bartlett, P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 331 pp.
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  • Caillouet, Charles W.; Donna J. Shaver, André M. Landry, David W. Owens, and Peter C. H. Pritchard 2011. Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) Age at First Nesting. Chelonian Conservation and Biology Dec 2011, Vol. 10, No. 2: 288-293. - get paper here
  • Carr, A. 1942. Notes on sea turtles. Proc. New England Zool. Club 21: 1–16.
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