Thursday, October 2, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Sea Snakes in Australian Waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) — A Review with an Updated Identification Key

some Australian Sea snakes 

Sea snakes (Elapidae, subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) reach high species richness in the South China Sea and in the Australian region; however, most countries in the two regions still lack up-to-date checklists and identification tools for these snakes. We present an updated reviewed checklist and a new complete identification key to sea snakes in Australian waters. The identification key includes 29 species documented and 4 possibly occurring taxa and is based mostly on easy-to-use external characters. We find no evidence for breeding populations of Laticauda in Australian waters, but include the genus on the list of possibly occurring taxa.

Keywords: biodiversity, Australian sea snake species, identification key

Checklist of Sea Snake Species Known to Occur in Australia

Aipysurus apraefrontalis Smith, 1926
Aipysurus duboisii Bavay, 1869
Aipysurus foliosquama Smith, 1926
Aipysurus fuscus (Tschudi, 1837)
Aipysurus laevis Lacépède, 1804
Aipysurus mosaicus Sanders et al. 2012
Aipysurus pooleorum Smith, 1974
Aipysurus tenuis Lønnberg and Anderson, 1913
Emydocephalus annulatus Krefft, 1869
Ephalophis greyae Smith, 1931
Hydrelaps darwiniensis Boulenger, 1896
Hydrophis atriceps Günther, 1864
Hydrophis belcheri (Gray, 1849)
Hydrophis caerulescens (Shaw, 1802)
Hydrophis coggeri (Kharin, 1984a)
Hydrophis curtus (Shaw, 1802)
Hydrophis czeblukovi (Kharin, 1984a)
Hydrophis donaldi Ukuwela, Sanders and Fry 2012
Hydrophis elegans (Gray, 1842)
Hydrophis kingii Boulenger, 1896
Hydrophis macdowelli Kharin, 1983
Hydrophis major (Shaw, 1802)
Hydrophis ocellatus Gray, 1849
Hydrophis pacificus Boulenger, 1896
Hydrophis peronii (Duméril, 1853)
Hydrophis platurus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Hydrophis stokesii (Gray in Stokes, 1846)
Hydrophis zweifeli (Kharin, 1985)
Parahydrophis mertoni (Roux, 1910)

List of Sea Snakes Possibly Occurring in Australia
Hydrophis laboutei Rasmussen and Ineich, 2000
Hydrophis vorisi Kharin, 1984b
Microcephalophis gracilis (Shaw, 1802)
Laticauda sp. Laurenti, 1768

Arne Redsted Rasmussen, Kate Laura Sanders, Michael L. Guinea and Andrew P. Amey. 2014. Sea Snakes in Australian Waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) — A Review with an Updated Identification Key. Zootaxa. 3869 (4): 351–371 

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