Haplotypic characterization of the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in northwest Mexico: the northernmost limit of its distribution

Campista León, S.  Beltrán Espinoza, J. A.  Sosa Cornejo, I.  Castillo Ureta, H.  Martín del Campo Flores, J. R.  Sánchez Zazueta, J. G.  Peinado Guevara, L. I. 


The olive ridley sea turtle (L. olivacea) has a pantropical distribution. In the Eastern Pacific, the official limits of its reproduction area are south of the Baja California peninsula and south of Sinaloa, Mexico. Ceuta beach in Elota, Sinaloa, Mexico, has served as a protection site for L. olivacea for over three decades. In this study, the L. olivacea population from Ceuta beach was genetically characterized. Specifically, a 712–bp fragment from the control region of mtDNA was amplified from 32 olive ridley turtles. Eight haplotypes (seven after cutting to ~468 bp) were identified, and these included two novel haplotypes (Lo–T7 and Lo–T8) and five haplotypes that were previously identified in other nesting beaches. The Lo–T2 haplotype was dominant (~60 %) in the samples: h = 0.6048 (± 0.0974) and π = 0.002212 (± 0.001504). Although this study was conducted in the northernmost limit of the olive ridley turtle nesting distribution in the eastern Pacific, the sampled group presents moderate genetic diversity and belongs to a population that, on an evolutionary scale, only recently underwent demographic expansion. Because the olive ridley turtle in the eastern Pacific is considered resilient to environmental variation, nesting area studies in northwest Mexico are necessary.

Key words

Endangered species, mtDNA, Control region (D–loop), Haplotypic and nucleotidic diversity, Olive ridley turtle

Reception date: 31 V 18 | Data d\'acceptció: 03 IX 18 | Publication date: 10 XII 18

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Index of Volume 42.1 (2019)