Olive ridley turtle

Olive Ridley Turtle
Olive ridley turtle, from an internet source.

Olive ridley turtle, from an internet source.

Common name: Olive ridley turtle
Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Local Malaysian name: Penyu lipas

Conservation status: Listed as vulnerable in the 2009 IUCN Red List and in CITES Appendix I

Adult shell length: 50 – 70 cm
Adult body weight: 30 – 50 kg
Colour: olive brown

Food: Crustaceans, molluscs, jellyfish,fish, seagrass

Range: Tropical, mainly in the Eastern Pacific, Northern Indian and South Atlantic Oceans.

Nesting sites in Malaysia: Fragmentary and occasionally reported in the Sarawak Turtle Islands, Penang, Terengganu and Kelantan.  In Terengganu, no nesting activity has been recorded since 2005.

Reproductive data:

Number of clutches deposited per individual per season: Typically 2 clutches
Inter-nesting interval (interval between each nesting event): Range of 2 – 4 weeks
Number of eggs per nest: Average of 100

A typical "arribada." Image credited to www.seaturtle.org.

A typical "arribada." Image credited to www.seaturtle.org.

Olive ridley turtles exhibit synchronous nesting behaviour in which females will ascend nesting beaches en masse in numbers reaching tens of thousands to nest. These nesting aggregations termed “arribada” still occur in the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Central America, and India and are known to be influenced by lunar cycles.