Scientia Marina, Vol 77, No 4 (2013)

Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead marine turtle hatchlings by incubation duration and nest temperature at Sirte beaches (Libya)

Imed Jribi
Sfax Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, Tunisia

Abdelmaula Hamza
Libyan Sea Turtle Program-Environment General Authority, Libya

Almoktar Saied
Libyan Sea Turtle Program-Environment General Authority, Libya

Atef Ouergui
Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas, Tunisia


Hatchling sex ratios in loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta) were estimated on the beaches near Sirte (Libya), using two methods: incubation duration and nest mean temperature during the middle third of the incubation period. Electronic temperature/humidity loggers were deployed at a total of 13 selected nests at Al-Ghbeba, Al-Thalateen, west of Al- Thalateen, Shash and Al-Arbaeen. The incubation period ranged from 47 to 58 days and average temperature ranged from 29°C to 31.8°C. The maximum temperature during this period increased to between 0.6°C and 3.5°C, while the mean temperature also increased during the middle third of the incubation period compared with the first third and continued to increase during the last third. As expected, this study showed that the temperature in the nest decreased with increasing depth of the nest. The results showed a female-dominated sex ratio at 85.4% on the basis of incubation duration and 70.4% on the basis of mean temperature. These findings support the reported highly female-skewed sex ratios in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.


loggerhead turtle; hatchlings; sex ratio; incubation duration; nest temperature; Libya

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