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Eretmochelys imbricata (LINNAEUS, 1766)

IUCN Red List - Eretmochelys imbricata - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaCheloniidae (Carettinae), Chelonioidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Hawksbill
imbricata: Atlantic Hawksbill
bissa: Pacific Hawksbill
G: Echte Karettschildkröte
Chinese: 玳瑁
S: Carey
Portuguese: Tartaruga-de-Escamas, Tartaruga-de-Pente, Tartaruga-do-Mar, Tartaruga-Verdadeira, Verdadeiro-Carei
Italian: tartaruga embricata 
SynonymTestudo imbricata LINNAEUS 1766: 350
Testudo imbricata — SHAW & NODDER 1797: plate 287
Chelonia radiata CUVIER 1829
Testudo imbricata — CUVIER 1831: 15
Chelonia pseudo-mydas LESSON 1834 (in BÉLANGER)
Chelonia pseudo-caretta LESSON 1834 (in BÉLANGER)
Chelonia Imbricata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 547
Caretta bissa RÜPPELL 1835: 4
Eretmochelys squamata AGASSIZ 1857: 382 (not Testudo squmata GMELIN)
Eretmochelys imbricata — AGASSIZ 1857
Caretta squamosa GIRARD 1858 (nomen subst. pro E. squamata AGASSIZ)
Caretta rostrata GIRARD 1858: 446
Caretta squamata — SWINHOE 1863: 221
Onychochelys kraussi GRAY 1873: 33
Chelone imbricata — BOULENGER 1889
Eretmochelys squamosa — GARMAN 1908: 9
Eretmochelys squamosa — STEJNEGER 1907: 511
Eretmochelys squamata — BARBOUR 1918: 489
Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata— MERTENS & MÜLLER 1928
Eretmochelys imbricata squamata — CARR 1942
Eretmochelys imbricata bissa — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950
Eretmochelys imbricata bissa — STEBBINS 1985: 107
Eretmochelys imbricata — STEBBINS 1985: 107
Eretmochelys imbricata — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 76
Eretmochelys imbricata — ENGELMANN et al. 1993
Eretmochelys imbricata — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 229
Eretmochelys imbricata squamata — MEIRTE 1999
Eretmochelys imbricata — COGGER 2000: 182
Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata — CROTHER 2000
Eretmochelys imbricata bissa — CROTHER 2000
Eretmochelys imbricata — TRAPE, CHIRIO & TRAPE 2012
Eretmochelys imbricate — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 24 (in error)
Eretmochelys imbricata — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 42
Eretochelys imbricata — FIGUEROA et al. 2023 (in error) 
DistributionAtlantic, Pazific, and Indian oceans, the Red Sea, the British Isles,

Europe: Portugal, Italy

Middle East: Jordan

Americas: USA (California, Massachusetts, Washington,
Western Atlantic: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas),

SE Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Baja California, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Sonora, Veracruz), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama

Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)], Galapagos Islands
Peru, Chile, S Brazil (Ceará, Rio de Janeiro, Sergipe, Piaui etc.), Uruguay

Africa: Madagascar,
NW Africa, Gambia, Tanzania, Angola, Israel,

Asia: Vietnam, Timor-Leste, India (Kerala, Gujarat, Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands), Japan, Pakistan, China (incl. Fujian)

Australia (New South Wales?, Northern Territory, Queensland,
Tasmania: King Island, Western Australia)
Chagos Archipelago

bissa: Indian and Pacific Oceans, from Madagascar to the Red Sea, Iran; Philippine Sea, the Sea of Japan, N Australia; Americas from California to Peru.

imbricata: Atlantic Ocean; Type locality: "American and Asiatic seas"; restricted to Bermuda Ils. by Smith & Taylor (1950).

squamata: Indian and Pacific Ocean

acording to the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals:
Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Sea, EC/SE/W/WC Pacific Ocean,
American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia,
Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), Cuba, Djibouti,
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador,
Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam,
Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Madagascar,
Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mayotte, Mexico, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar (= Burma), Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Northern Marianas, Oman, Palau,
Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia,
St Vincent, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, US Minor Pacific Islands, USA, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet
Nam, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (US), Western Sahara, Western Samoa, Yemen  
Reproductionoviparous. Exhibits temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD) fide Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020 (and references therein). FRITZ (1995) and Lara-Ruiz et al. 2006 report hybrids between Caretta caretta and Eretmochelys imbricata. 
TypesHolotype: UUZM (= ZIU) 130 (probably, fide COGGER 1983)
Lectotype: SMF 7886 [bissa]
Syntypes: MCZ R-1416 [squamata]
Syntypes: USNM 257185, 257186 [Caretta rostrata] 
CommentA special issue on the hawksbill has been published as Chelonian Conservation and Biology Volume 3 (2): 173-367, see

Synonymy: Chelonia grisea ESCHSCHOLTZ 1829 has been synonymized with E. imbricata by FRITZ & HAVAS 2007, but FLORES-VILLELA et al. 2016 concluded that Chelonia grisea is actually based on an anomalous Chelonia mydas. TTWG 2017 does not distinguish subspecies and list all names as synonyms of E. imbricata.

Hybridization: FRITZ (1995) reports hybrids between Caretta caretta and Eretmochelys imbricata and between Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata.

Karyotype: 2n = 56 (Bickham, 1981).

Distribution: presence in South Carolina based on neighboring states; no vouchered specimens are known (Camper 2019).

Habitat: marine.

Distribution: not in Maryland (Miller 2021).

Conservation status: critically endangered

Type species: Testudo imbricata LINNAEUS 1766 is the type species of the genus Eretmochelys FITZINGER 1843: 30. 
EtymologyThe name imbricata is derived from the Latin imbricatus (overlapping, like roofing tiles and shingles) and refers to the overlapping carapacial scutes of juveniles and young adults of this species.

The genus name Eretmochelys is formed from the Greek words eretmon (oar) and chelys (tortoise, turtle), and refers to the oarlike limbs of this marine turtle. 
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