Phenology and population structure of the Mediterranean stripe-necked terrapin <em>Mauremys leprosa</em> (Schweigger, 1812) in the Reghaïa Lake (northern Algeria)

  • Daniel Escoriza GRECO, Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Girona, 17071 Girona, Spain
  • Badis Bakhouche Laboratoire Dynamique et Biodiversité, Université Houari Boumediene, BP 32 El Alia 16111, Algiers, Algeria
  • Tiar Ghoulam Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Life, University Chadli Bendjedid, El Tarf, BP 36100 El Tarf, Algeria; Research Laboratory “Ecology of Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems”, University Badji Mokhtar, Annaba, Algeria
  • Djemadi Imed Research Laboratory “Ecology of Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems”, University Badji Mokhtar, Annaba, Algeria; Food Science and Agri-Food Industries college, Ahmed Hamidouche Route de Beaulieu, El Harrach 16200, Algiers, Algeria.
  • Draidi khalil Research Laboratory “Ecology of Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems”, University Badji Mokhtar, Annaba, Algeria

Abstract

 

 

The Mediterranean stripe-necked terrapin is a freshwater turtle widely distributed in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, but whose natural history is little known. In this study we investigated the ecology of a population in northern Algeria (Reghaïa Lake Ramsar Reserve), with special emphasis on its phenology, demographic structure and diet, based on capture and recapture methods. Our results indicated that there is a short inactivity period in January and possibly the activity is also reduced during the month of August. The best Jolly-Seber model indicated that the population within the survey station had a minimum size of 653 specimens. The population contained a higher proportion of males (0.68 - 0.76) and a proportion of juveniles between 0.02 - 0.16. Females were larger and relatively heavier than males. Analysis of stomach contents showed that M. leprosa feeds with high frequency on aquatic arthropods. Specifically, we found insects: Diptera (Chironomidae, Culicidae, Dixidae, Syrphidae), Heteroptera (Corixidae, Notonectidae) and Coleoptera (Dytiscidae), crustaceans (Branchiopoda, Ostracoda), plant matter (Typha angustifolia), fish (Gambusia holbrooki), and unidentified materials. 

Published
2019-09-09
Section
Research Papers