SREL Reprint #0858




Relationships of Reproductive Characteristics to Body Size in Pseudemys scripta

Justin D. Congdon and J. Whitfield Gibbons



Female Pseudemys scripta (n=65) with eggs were collected from three habitats where females mature at relatively large body sizes and four where females mature at relatively small body sizes.  Clutch size, clutch wet mass, egg wet mass and egg width all exhibited significant positive relationships with body size of the female while egg length did not.  When effects of body size were removed, no significant differences in adjusted means of clutch size, egg wet mass, or of the log of clutch mass were found between females from populations of large-bodied adults and those from populations of small-bodied adults.  The relationship between clutch size and egg wet mass among populations was not significant.  This study suggests that in turtle populations in which individuals exhibit rapid growth and unusually large body sizes, the proportional investment per egg or clutch remains constant.

Key words:  Reptilia; Testudines; Pseudemys; Body size; Egg size


SREL Reprint #0858

Congdon, J.D. and J.W. Gibbons. 1983. Relationships of reproductive characteristics to body size in Pseudemys scripta. Herpetologica 39:147-151.

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