The Different Species
of Florida Sea
Five of the world's eight sea turtle species nest in the U.S., and Florida
(See Nesting Sea Turtle Photos)
The five sea turtle species nesting in Florida are the loggerhead (Caretta caretta);
the green (Chelonia mydas); the leatherback
(Dermochelys coriacea); the hawksbill
(Eretmochelys imbricata); and the rarest of all sea turtles,
the Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi).
(Where to See Nesting Sea Turtles in Florida)
Leatherback turtle returning to the sea
Turtle Nesting Season
turtles nest in Florida from late April to September. An average
clutch consists of about 100 eggs. The eggs incubate
for about 60 days before producing two-inch hatchlings that weigh only
3/5 of an ounce.
After nesting, the females travel long distances to their
feeding grounds, which may be as far away as Cuba or the Dominican Republic.
Ironically, there are also seemingly excellent nesting beaches
in those regions. Why the loggerheads commute to the
United States is anyone's guess.
the past, when turtles were more abundant in the Caribbean,
the beaches there may have been fully utilized by greens and hawksbills.
Along the Gulf of Mexico, Florida again claims the greatest
nest count (between Pinellas and Monroe Counties) but the nests are
far, far fewer compared to the Atlantic side.
Sea turtles do not nest on the U.S.
To Part 2: Sea Turtle Description & Behavior
To Nesting Sea Turtle Photos
To Florida Animals & Wildlife Home
To Where to See Nesting Sea Turtles
To Sea Turtle Homepage