SREL Reprint #2080

 

 

 

 

PREVALENCE AND HISTOPATHOLOGY OF SHELL DISEASE IN TURTLES FROM LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GEORGIA

Jeffrey E. Lovich,l ,5 Steve W. Gotte, 2 Carl H. Ernst,3 John C. Harshbarger, 4
Arndt F. Laemmerzahl,
3 and J. Whitfield Gibbonsl

l Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina 29802 USA
2National Biological Service, Biological Survey Project,
National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. 20560 USA
3George Mason University, Department of Biology,
4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030 USA
4Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals, Department of Pathology, Ross 520,
George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 1 Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037 USA

5Present Address: National Biological Service, Midcontinent Ecological Science Center, Palm Springs Field Station, 63500 Garnet Avenue, P.O. Box 2000, North Palm Springs, California 92258-2000 USA


ABSTRACT: Turtles in Lake Blackshear, Crisp County, Georgia (USA) were evaluated for shell disease during intensive trapping efforts on 8 and 9 May 1990. The disease was most prevalent in Pseudemys concinna (74%) and Trachemys scripta (35%). The degree of necrosis on the carapace was significantly positively correlated with the degree of necrosis on the plastron in T. scripta (rs = 0.50), but not in P. concinna (rs = 0.06). Female T. scripta with lesions were significantly larger than females wihtout lesions. Lesions were not detected on six other speciesof turtles. Some areas contained multinucleate osteoclasts that were destroying bones. No tumers were detected in soft tissue samples.
were defected in soft tissiie samples.

Key words: Turtle, Trachemys scripta, Pseudemys concinna, shell disease, osteitis

SREL Reprint #2080

Lovich, J.E., S.W. Gotte, C.H. Ernst, J.C. Harshbarger, A.F. Laemmerzahl, and J.W. Gibbons. 1996. Prevalence and histopathology of shell disease in turtles from Lake Blackshear, Georgia. Journal of Wildlife Disease 32:259-265.

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