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Lepidochelys olivacea (ESCHSCHOLTZ, 1829)

IUCN Red List - Lepidochelys olivacea - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaCheloniidae (Carettinae), Chelonioidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Olive Ridley Seaturtle, Pacific Ridley; Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
G: Oliv-Bastardschildkröte
S: Tortuga Golfína
Portuguese: Falsa-Careta, Tartaruga-Comum, Tartaruga-Oliva, Tartaruga-Pequena, Tartaruga-Verde, Xibirro 
SynonymChelonia olivacea ESCHSCHOLTZ 1829: 3
Caretta olivacea — RÜPPELL 1835: 7
Chelonia dussumierii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1835: 557
Chelonia subcarinata RÜPPELL in GRAY 1844 (nomen nudum)
Caouana rüppelli GRAY 1844 (nomen nudum)
Caouana olivacea — GRAY 1844: 53
Caouana dessumierii SMITH 1849 (ex errore)
Lepidochelys dussumierii — GIRARD 1858: 437
Lepidochelys olivacea — GIRARD 1858: 435
Thalssochelys olivacea — STRAUCH 1862: 63
Caouana olivacea — GÜNTHER 1864: 52
Caouna olivacea — MURRAY 1886: 11
Caretta olivacea — STEJNEGER 1907: 507
Caretta olivacea — GARMAN 1908: 8
Caretta remivaga HAY 1908
Caretta caretta olivacea — SMITH 1931
Lepidochelys olivacea olivacea— MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Lepidochelys olivacea — STEBBINS 1985: 106
Lepidochelys olivacea — LINER 1994
Lepidochelys olivacea — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 229
Lepidochelys olivacea — COGGER 2000: 183
Lepidochelys olivacea — BONIN et al 2006
Lepidochelys olivacea — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 40
Lepidochelys olivacea — TTWG 2021 
DistributionPacific and Indian oceans, Atlantic Ocean, Micronesia,
Arabia south to S Africa; Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran

Europe: Azores

Africa, e.g. Gabon; Mauritania, Principé and São Tomé (Gulf of Guinea), Gambia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Somalia, Madagascar, Eritrea, Namibia, Togo

Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia),
Solomon Islands [McCoy 2000], Fiji, Marshall Islands

Asia: Vietnam, Japan, India (Kerala, Gujarat), Seychelles, Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, China (Fujian), Taiwan, Singapore

In the eastern Pacific it is found from the Galapagos northward to the USA (Alaska, California, Oregon ?, Washington);

Central America: SE Mexico (incl. Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Sonora), Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama

Caribbean: Cuba, Puerto Rico.

South America: coasts of Ecuador, N Brazil (Ceará, Sergipe, Piaui etc.), Chile, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Uruguay

acording to the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals:
EC/SE/SW/WC Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean,
EC-SE-SW-WC Pacific Ocean, Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar (= Burma), Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and
Tobago, Venezuela

Type locality: Manila Bay, Philippines (fide COGGER 1983, Flores-Villela et al. 2016).  
Reproductionoviparous. This species exhibits temperature-dependant sex determination (TSD).<br />Hybridication: Caretta caretta hybridizes with Lepidochelys olivacea (NCBI tax ID 2720220) 
TypesType: lost (probably; formerly Dorpat, Estonia), fide SMITH & SMITH 1979, Flores-Villela et al. 2016.
Holotype: USNM 243393 [Caretta remivaga] 
CommentHabitat: marine.

Conservation status: vulnerable

Type species: Chelonia olivacea ESCHSCHOLTZ 1829: 3 is the type species of the genus Lepidochelys FITZINGER 1843: 30.

History. Eschscholtz’s paper in Quatember contains the first description of Chelonia olivacea and thus has precedence over Eschscholtz's better known Zoologischer Atlas, and therefore is the earliest description of C. olivacea. However, Plate III of the Atlas remains the earliest illustration for what is today called Lepidochelys olivacea (Flores-Villela et al. 2016). 
EtymologyThe name olivacea is formed from the Latin word oliva (olive tree) and refers to the characteristic olive color of this species.

The genus name Lepidochelys is formed from the Greek word lepidos (scale) and chelys (tortoise, turtle), and probably refers to the scutes covering the shell. 
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