The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761) is an occasional trophic visitor of the Mediterranean basin. So far, very few individuals have been genetically analysed from this sea and none from Italy. We sequenced a mitochondrial DNA fragment of three specimens of D. coriacea found in recent years along the North-Adriatic and Tyrrhenian shores. They were all females approaching adult stage. Causes of death were attributable to the main threats for sea turtles in Mediterranean waters, all related to human activities (collisions with boats, entanglement in fishing nets and plastic debris ingestion). Two different mitochondrial haplotypes were observed, with the two North-Adriatic turtles sharing the same one. Compared to known Dermochelys sequences and previous genetic characterization of rookeries, these results suggest that the most probable origin of at least two of the three leatherbacks was the western Atlantic

OCEANIC GIANTS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: FIRST MITOCHONDRIAL ANALYSIS OF LEATHERBACK TURTLES (DERMOCHELYS CORIACEA) IN THE ADRIATIC AND TYRRHENIAN SEAS

MARCHIORI, ERICA;POPPI, LISA;
2020

Abstract

The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761) is an occasional trophic visitor of the Mediterranean basin. So far, very few individuals have been genetically analysed from this sea and none from Italy. We sequenced a mitochondrial DNA fragment of three specimens of D. coriacea found in recent years along the North-Adriatic and Tyrrhenian shores. They were all females approaching adult stage. Causes of death were attributable to the main threats for sea turtles in Mediterranean waters, all related to human activities (collisions with boats, entanglement in fishing nets and plastic debris ingestion). Two different mitochondrial haplotypes were observed, with the two North-Adriatic turtles sharing the same one. Compared to known Dermochelys sequences and previous genetic characterization of rookeries, these results suggest that the most probable origin of at least two of the three leatherbacks was the western Atlantic
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3463781
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