Hybridization Between a Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, and Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, and the First Record of a Green Turtle in Atlantic Canada


  • Michael C. James Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford St., Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1
  • Kathleen Martin Nova Scotia Leatherback Turtle Working Group, 2070 Oxford St., Halifax, Nova Scotia B3L 2T2
  • Peter H. Dutton Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, 8604 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, California 92037




Green turtle, Chelonia mydas, hybrid, Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta, Atlantic Canada


The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) principally occupies tropical and subtropical waters, although juveniles are known to occur seasonally in temperate coastal waters. Collaboration with commercial fishers in eastern Canada yielded the most northerly records of this species in the northwest Atlantic. Here we report on the first confirmed record of a Green Turtle in eastern Canada and on the occurrence of a rare Green Turtle–Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) hybrid. Hybridization between the Carettini and Chelonini is extraordinary given that these groups have been genetically distinct for 50 million years or more.