Circulating estradiol (E2), progesterone (Pro), testosterone, and corticosterone (B) levels were monitored in the green turtles Chelonia mydas during different nesting phases. Successful nesting includes emergence from sea, chamber and nest excavation, oviposition, burying the nest, and returning to sea. Unsuccessful nesting includes chamber and nest excavations but without oviposition. Blood samples were taken from the cervical sinus and collected within 5-min of capture to minimize stress. The samples were collected between 2000 and 0100 h during the peak season (May-October). High-performance liquid chromatography using a u.v. detection system coupled with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry was used to measure B. Plasma B levels were significantly higher in successful and unsuccessful phases over emergence and excavation phases. However, B levels in successful versus unsuccessful or emergence versus excavation phases were not significantly different. Plasma steroid levels were measured by the Coat-A-Count RIA technique. Pro levels were significantly higher (P<0.005) in successful over unsuccessful turtles and also successful turtles over turtles in the other phases (P<0.01). The Pro levels immediately after nesting were found to be higher than that reported previously. Plasma testosterone values were higher in successful turtles but not significantly different from the turtles in other phases. Estrogen levels were undetected in all phases. Overall, the hormone values during different phases of nesting may play a major role in formulating the nesting behavior and physiology of the nesting activities in the green turtle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism