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1 October 2008 Diel Movement Behavior of The Stripe-Necked Musk Turtle (Sternotherus Minor Peltifer) in Middle Tennessee
Joshua R. Ennen, A. Floyd Scott
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Few studies have used radiotelemetry to focus directly on the diel behavior of turtles. We used radiotelemetry to relocate 10 Stripe-necked Musk Turtles (Sternotherus minor peltifer) every 2 h over a 24 h cycle in Middle Tennessee. Movements during the 24 h cycle were monitored on seven occasions between 27 Jul. and 4 Nov. 2004. Sternotherus minor peltifer were often inactive and remained sedentary throughout a 24 h cycle; 87% of the total relocations revealed no movement. Overall, S. m. peltifer's diel movement behavior was restricted to evening and nocturnal hours. Frequency data suggested a uni-modal distribution of movement during evening and midnight periods (1700–0159 h). Similarly, the mean distance traveled showed a uni-modal distribution with a peak in the evening period of a 24 h cycle. Based on the data set with only light and dark categories, males were found to move more frequently in daylight relative to females. A decrease in movement (frequency and distance) occurred with the changing of the seasons from summer to winter. Probably due to temperature change, nocturnal and crepuscular behaviors were highest in Jul. and Aug., while during the autumn months, there was little preference for daylight or darkness. This phenomenon has been reported in several Sternotherus species; but, to our knowledge, this is the first report for S. minor.

Joshua R. Ennen and A. Floyd Scott "Diel Movement Behavior of The Stripe-Necked Musk Turtle (Sternotherus Minor Peltifer) in Middle Tennessee," The American Midland Naturalist 160(2), 278-288, (1 October 2008).[278:DMBOTS]2.0.CO;2
Received: 9 November 2007; Accepted: 1 April 2008; Published: 1 October 2008
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