SREL Reprint #0868




Reproductive Characteristics and Ecology of the Mud Turtle, Kinosternon Subrubrum (Lacepede)

J. Whitfield Gibbons



The mud turtle (Kinsoternon subrubrum) does not vary geographically in body size, but the number of eggs per clutch is significantly higher at cooler latitudes.  Scrutiny of a single population in South Carolina revealed a decrease in average clutch size during the egg-laying season.  Although female body size, climate and season may be independently or interactively important in influencing clutch size in K. subrubrum, a high, unexplained variance indicates the influence of other factors.  Multiple clutches within a season by individuals are frequent among South Carolina K. subrubrum and two clutches per year may be laid in cooler regions.  Although clutch size did not vary annually in South Carolina, clutch frequency and the proportion of females laying eggs did.  Both males and females reach maturity at 70-80 mm in carapace length throughout the geographic range.  No evidence exists that sex ratios vary significantly from 1:1 in any populations.  Population size estimates (c=371; SE=35) for a South Carolina population were determined for 10 years.

Key words:  Ecology; Kinosternon; Life history; Reproduction; Turtle


SREL Reprint #0868

Gibbons, J.W. 1983. Reproductive characteristics and ecology of the mud turtle, Kinosternon subrubrum (Lacepede). Herpetologica 39:254-271.

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