Total and fecal coliform bacteria were isolated from the cloaca and feces o
f the estuarine diamondback terrapin. The majority of samples contained fec
al coliforms. Escherichia coil was the predominant fecal coliform species i
solated, and members of the genus Salmonella were isolated from 2 of 39 ter
rapins. Fecal coliform numbers are used to regulate shellfish harvests, and
diamondback terrapins inhabit the brackishwater habitats where oyster beds
are found; therefore, these findings have implications for the efficacy of
current regulatory parameters in shellfishing waters.