Field Guide to Maryland's Turtles (Order Testudines)
Photo of Leatherback Seaturtle courtesy of Scott R. Benson,
NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
53-70 inches. Record - 96 inches.
Primarily open ocean (pelagic) but can occasionally be found near shore or in the shallow waters of bays and estuaries. They follow drifting schools of jellyfish, their main prey.
How to Find
A very rare sight. Keep a lookout when boating offshore through large schools of jellyfish. As our other sea turtles, dead individuals occasionally wash up on beaches. State and federally listed as Endangered. If you observe or find any individuals please contact DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Distribution in Maryland
Off-shore 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.