ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2009, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 8–14. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Original Russian Text © V.E. Kharin, 2009, published in Biologiya Morya.
The erabu seakrait described by Reinwardt in a
paper by Schlegel  in the genus
has been found at the coasts
of the Moluccas . For a long time this taxon was
listed for the waters of Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, and
(see [18, 35, 41, 46,
50]). At present, the species range of this snake includes
marine waters of Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, and Ryukyu
islands), the East China and South China seas (it was
found in marine waters of the Philippines, but still is not
reported from the waters of Vietnam; however, it prob-
ably will be recorded in the Gulf of Tonkin), and waters
of western Indonesia [14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22–24, 26–29,
30, 32, 38, 39, 43, 44, 47, 48].
The author of this paper has performed a revision of
sea kraits and substantiated the isolation of two species
of the genus
) into an independent genus
(see [14, 26]); these speculations were later either
accepted [1, 3, 7, 33] or rejected [2, 21, 31, 37, 49].
In early October 1978, in the Khasan District of
Russian Primorye, in the intertidal zone at Sosnovyi
Cape (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan), i.e., in the
waters of the Far-Eastern Marine State Natural Bio-
sphere Reserve (FEMSNBR), an adult specimen of the
erabu sea krait (Chinese sea krait) was captured . A
cursory description was provided that needs to be sup-
plemented; therefore, the author presents here a rede-
scription of this unique specimen. Also, we took into
consideration all ﬁndings of another species, the yel-
low-bellied sea snake
in Russian waters [25, 40]. In relation to possible global
warming and taking into account the regular changes in
the direction of sea currents, the penetration of sea
snakes from the southern Sea of Japan into Russian
waters is quite possible; therefore we present here an
identiﬁcation key for all sea snakes of the Sea of Japan.
(Reinwardt in Schle-
gel, 1837) (Fig. 1).
Reinwardt in Schlegel,
(non Schneider, 1799): Tem-
minck, Schlegel, 1838: 92, pl. 10 (part.).
(non Günther, 1874):
Boulenger, 1896: 309 (part.); Wall, 1909: 181, ﬁg. 1
: Stejneger, 1907: 409,
ﬁg. 331–333, pl. 22; Smith, 1926: 10, ﬁg. 6; Maki,
1931: 176, ﬁg. 119–120, pl. 64; Chugunov, 1980: 470;
Zhirmunskii et al., 1985: 305; Golay et al., 1993: 147;
Welch, 1974: 71; Adrianov, Kusakin, 1998: 339.
: Kharin, 1984: 135;
Nakamoto, Toriba, 1986: 55; Borkin, Darevskii, 1987:
141; Anan’eva et al., 1998: 526; Adnagulov, Tarasov,
2003: 17; Anan’eva et al., 2004: 189; Kharin, 2005: 73;
Kharin, Czeblukov, 2006: 236, ﬁg. 5, 13.
Redescription of a Russian Finding of the Erabu Sea Krait
(Reinwardt in Schlegel, 1837),
with Remarks about Species Composition of Sea Snakes
(Serpentes: Laticaudidae, Hydrophiidae)
in Russian and Adjacent Waters
V. E. Kharin
Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received September 13, 2007
—Redescription of a single Russian ﬁnding of the erabu seakrait
vided and all ﬁndings of sea snakes in Russian territory are listed. A key for the identiﬁcation of sea snakes of
the Sea of Japan is provided.
: erabu sea krait,
, yellow-bellied sea snake,
scriptions, identiﬁcation key, Sea of Japan.