Olive Ridley

In one of nature's greatest spectacles known as arribadas, the Spanish word for ‘arrival,’ olive ridleys come ashore simultaneously by the hundreds and thousands to nest. Though they are the most abundant of sea turtles, olive ridleys are increasingly threatened by trawling and coastal development.

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Lepidochelys olivacea

STATUS

Vulnerable

DISTRIBUTION

  • Circumglobal nesting areas in tropical regions

  • Non-nesting range extends to temperate regions

SWOT MAPS

Size

ADULTS

  • Length 60-70 cm

  • Mass up to 70 kg

HATCHLINGS

  • Length approximately 25 mm

  • Mass 15-20 g

Diet

For all life stages, mostly benthic invertebrates (crabs, other crustaceans, and mollusks) and occasionally jellies

Reproduction

  • Reproduce every 1-3 years

  • Lay 1-3 clutches of eggs per season

  • Lay 90-130 eggs per clutch

  • Ping-pong ball size eggs weigh approximately 30 grams each

  • Incubation period approximately 60 days long

Facts

  • Olive ridleys are thought to be the most abundant sea turtle species globally

  • Along with Kemp’s ridleys, olive ridleys are the only sea turtles species to exhibit synchronous mass nesting, termed arribadas. During the arribadas, the Spanish word for ‘arrivals,’ tens of thousands of female turtles nest during the same 3-7 day period once a month.

  • Along with Kemp’s ridleys , and, to a lesser extent, flatbacks, olive ridleys are the only sea turtle species to commonly nest during the day