PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pacific Ridley Turtle 

Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family and species level characters:
Paddle-shaped flippers without clawed feet.
Nostrils at the end of a tubular fleshy snout.
Six or more costal shields on shell.
Four enlarged inframarginal plates underneath.

Sources:
Cogger, H. G. (2000) Reptiles and amphibians of Australia, sixth edition.
Wilson, S. K. and Swan, G. (2008) A complete guide to reptiles, second edition.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Reptilia
Subclass:
Anapsida
Order:
Testudines
Suborder:
Cryptodira
Superfamily:
Chelonioidea
Family:
Cheloniidae
Genus:
Lepidochelys
Species:
olivacea

General Description

Body green-grey to grey above and white underneath. Shell rounded to heart-shaped with 6 or more plates (costal shields) in a row either side. Young hatchlings black-brown. Up to 1.5 m long.

Biology

These turtles lay about 100 eggs in sand on beaches and eat small crabs and shellfish. They are not permanent residents in Victorian waters, occasionally coming south when warm ocean currents permit travel.

Habitat

Open oceans and coasts.

Open water

Distribution guide

Parts of Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Mainly northern Australia. Occasional visitor to Victorian coastal waters and Port Phillip.

Species Group

Reptiles Turtles

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

1.5 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Endangered
  • IUCN Red List : Vulnerable

Author

article author Patullo, B.

Blair Patullo is Online Producer for marine projects at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Patullo, B., 2011, Pacific Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 28 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3972

Text: creative commons cc by licence