Category of Organisms Marine Reptiles
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Testudines
Family Cheloniidae
Genus Chelonia
Species mydas
Binomial Name
Chelonia mydas
Author Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name Green Sea Turtle
Local Name Penyu Agar
Size Range
Shell length: 90-110 cm [3]
Green turtles usually inhabit shallow waters associated with sea grass beds. Sea grass meadows within inshore bays, lagoons and shoals are common locations where Chelonia mydas can often be found. This particular species is known to be very selective about their feeding and mating sites and entire generations will often alternately migrate between the same feeding and nesting areas. [1]
Play an important role in the economy as a tourist attraction, green fat of the green turtles is in demand for soups delicacy.
Endemic No
Found in Marine Park Yes
Found in Malaysia Yes
The most common species found in Malaysia. Generally, all states in Malaysia have recorded landings with the exception of Selangor.
Green turtle has been named for its greenish-coloured body fat. It has a dorso-ventrally flattened body, a beaked head at the end of a short neck, and paddle-like arms well-adapted for swimming. The green sea turtle's snout is very short and its beak is unhooked. The horny sheath of the turtle's upper jaw possesses a slightly-denticulated edge while its lower jaw has stronger, more defined denticulation. The dorsal surface of the turtle's head has a single pair of prefrontal shields. Mature C. mydas front appendages have only a single claw, although a second claw is sometimes prominent in young specimens.

Its carapace colour varies with age. Hatchlings of C. mydas, have mostly black carapaces and light-colored plastrons. Carapaces of juveniles are dark brown to olive, while those of mature adults are either entirely brown, spotted or marbled with variegated rays. Underneath, the turtle's plastron is hued yellow. C. mydas limbs are dark-colored and lined with yellow, and are usually marked with a large dark brown spot in the center of each appendage. [1]

The green sea turtle can grow over one meter in carapace length and weigh about 150 kg.[2]
It is a herbivore and feeds mainly on sea grass, algae and sponge. This turtle attains maturity somewhere between 20-30 years of age.

The nesting season in the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia is from March to June (peak season: April-May). On the east coast of the Peninsular, nesting occurs from January to October (peak season: June-July). In east Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), nesting occurs from January to December (peak season: July-October).

Female green turtles may nest up to eight times each season, producing between 100 and 140 eggs per nest. In Peninsular Malaysia, some 15,500 nests are produced annually. The eggs will hatch after an incubation period of between 50 to 70 days. [2]
Conservation efforts have been boosted by eco-tourism in Sabah, Borneo. The island of Pulau Selingaan (also known as 'Turtle Island') is home to a turtle hatchery. Staff on the island collect some of the eggs laid each night and place them in a hatchery to protect them from predators. Incubation is approximately 60 days. Once hatched, tourists are permitted to assist in the release of the baby turtles into the sea. [1]
Status in IUCN Red List Endangered (EN)
Status in CITES Species Database I
1. Chelonia mydas. (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2007, from

2. Abdul Salam, M.N. and Sharma, D.S.K. (1999). Integrated Coastal and Estuarine Area Management. Handbook 4: Marine Turtles & Terrapins. Kuala Lumpur: WWF Malaysia

3. Ong, J.E. and Gong, W.K. (2003). The Encyclopedia of Malaysia. Vol 6: The Seas. Kuala Lumpur: Archipelago Press
Other Link(s)
Collection Record
Chelonia mydas