Ecological data directly from the field are important in understanding the life history strategies of kinosternid species in the tropics. Herein we summarize the basic population ecology and life history of Kinosternon integrum in the municipality of Tonatico (southeastern Estado de México, México). From October 2003 to November 2004, we marked a total of 204 turtles and recaptured 118 of them. Mean population size using the Jolly-Seber model was 197 (95% CI 128–416) individuals, with a sex ratio of 1:1.7, biased to females. Males were larger than females in carapace length and plastron length. The reproductive season starts in late June and finishes in late October. The smallest female with oviductal eggs was 122 mm in carapace length. Mean clutch size was 4 eggs (s = 1.77, range 1–8) and was significantly and positively related to body size. Mean egg length was 30.43 mm (s = 2.24, range 23.92–35.96), mean width was 16.35 mm (s = 1.01, range 12.99–18.30), and mean weight was 5.14 g (s = 0.60, range 3.41–6.57). Mean egg length was significantly and inversely related to clutch size. Relative clutch mass (reproductive effort) was 0.043 (s = 0.017, range 0.017–0.071), which is the smallest value reported for the genus Kinosternon. Additionally, there was no evidence of a pelvic restriction on egg size in this population. This is the first study that documents basic population ecology and reproductive characteristics for a single population of the most widespread freshwater turtle in Mexico.
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Vol. 69 • No. 4