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New records of leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761) (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) in the Strait of Sicily

  • Autori: Caracappa S; Persichetti M.F.; Gentile. A.; Caracappa G.; Currò V.; Greggi D.; Arculeo M.,
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


We report three new records of leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761) recovered in February 2011 and in spring-summer 2016 in the Strait of Sicily. The individuals were handed over dead to the IZS of Palermo for necropsy. The first specimen measured 139 and 91 cm of CCL and CCW respectively and was found beached and alive but died a few hours later for septicemia. The second measured 110 cm of CCL and 83 cm of CCW and showed a deep wound on its head probably due to contact with a boat propeller. The third individual measured 134 cm of CCL and 96 cm of CCW and had plastic bags, a piece of fishing net and debris of various nature in the stomach. For the second individual it was not possible to determine the sex because of the advanced state of decomposition, while the other two specimens were females and showed a typical picture of an immature ovary. These new records increase the knowledge on the presence of this species in the Mediterranean Sea and in particular along the Sicilian coast and are also useful for preparing strategic conservation plans.