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Title: GOPHERUS AGASSIZII

Abstract

GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52:more » 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
776442
Report Number(s):
MOL.19980319.0468
TRN: US0702864
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC01-91RW00134
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ALABAMA; ANTS; CALIFORNIA; CANADA; COYOTES; DESERTS; EYES; LEGS; TURTLES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

Boone, James L., Rakestraw, Danny L., and Rautenstrauch, Kurt R. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII. United States: N. p., 1997. Web. doi:10.2172/776442.
Boone, James L., Rakestraw, Danny L., & Rautenstrauch, Kurt R. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII. United States. doi:10.2172/776442.
Boone, James L., Rakestraw, Danny L., and Rautenstrauch, Kurt R. Tue . "GOPHERUS AGASSIZII". United States. doi:10.2172/776442. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/776442.
@article{osti_776442,
title = {GOPHERUS AGASSIZII},
author = {Boone, James L. and Rakestraw, Danny L. and Rautenstrauch, Kurt R.},
abstractNote = {GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52: 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley.},
doi = {10.2172/776442},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1997},
month = {12}
}