Field Guide to Maryland's Turtles (Order Testudines)
Atlantic Hawksbill Seaturtle
Eretmochelys i. imbricata
30-35 inches. Record - 44 inches.
Photo of Atlantic Hawksbill Seaturtle, courtesy of Caroline Rogers, USGS
Primarily a tropical species, where it is found only in marine environments, particularly shallow areas of rocky coastlines, coral reefs, estuaries and lagoons with mud bottoms. The key is shallow areas with little or no vegetation. No nesting occurs at our latitude.
How to Find
An extremely rare visitor to our shores. Little is known about this turtle’s behavior due to its solitary nature, even when nesting. Look in the Coastal Bays for individuals resting on the bottom in clear water during the summer. State and federally listed as Endangered. If you observe or find any individuals please contact DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Distribution in Maryland
Coastal Bays of Worcester County
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.
The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.