Eretmochelys imbricata bissa   (Ruppell,  1835) (Turtle)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Reptilia

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Carapace length (straight-line distance) maximum to 100 cm; common to 80 cm.

Weight: Maximum to 100 kg; common to 60 kg

Color: Upper side dark brown, with yellow and reddish streaks on scutes; underside pale yellow.

Carapace oval, depressed, its width about 75% of the length. Head medium-sized (about 27% of carapace length), with 2 pairs of prefrontal scutes and a strong horny beak. Scutes on shell imbricated (overlapping) in all but very old specimens where they are juxtaposed; 4 pairs of lateral scutes an carapace, anterior pair not touching the pre-central scute; 4 pairs of inframarginal scutes on plastron; 2 claws on each flipper.

Eggs: white, spherical, 3.5 to 4 cm in diameter and 28 g in weight.

Hatchlings: length of carapace about 4.5 cm; on both sides color dark brown.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Pacific Hawksbill Turtle (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Over exploitation)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Muddy, Coastal
Prey:  Jellyfish, sponges, sea urchins, crustaceans, molluscs, seaweeds and seagrass.



Literature Source(s)
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-06-04

Back to Search