|SREL Reprint #0520|
and Life History Aspects of the Cooter, Chrysemys floridana (Le
Whitfield Gibbons and John W. Coker
An 8-year mark-release-recapture study was conducted
on the cooter, Chrysemys floridana.
Field work centered around a terrestrial drift fence and pitfall trap
system encircling a Carolina bay habitat near Aiken, South Carolina.
Terrestrial movement patterns of nonhatchling C.
floridana were similar to that for other species.
Immigration to the aquatic habitat is locationally random but emigration
appears directional and confined to a particular sector of the periphery.
Uncertainty exists as to whether the observed emigration represents
actual movement of individuals toward a nearby aquatic habitat or whether the
effect is a consequence of localized high adult density and shoreline basking.
Hatchlings overwinter on land, entering the water in March or April up to
9 or 10 months after egg laying. No
correlations were observed between terrestrial activity and daily weather
Immature C. floridana increase 2-4 cm
in plastron length each year with the expected abrupt decline in growth at the
onset of maturity. Males mature at
plastron lengths of 10-12 cm and an age of about 3 years in South Carolina.
Females mature at 20-24 cm and ages of 6 or 7 years.
SREL Reprint #0520
Gibbons, J.W. and J.W. Coker. 1977. Ecological and life
history aspects of the cooter, Chrysemys floridana (Le Conte).