1063-0740/04/3006- © 2004
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 30, No. 6, 2004, pp. 387–394.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Biologiya Morya, Kharin.
was ﬁrst established by Lesson
 for the snake
Shaw, 1802. There-
after, it was considered in synonymy of the genera
(= Distira) [39, 45] or
[2, 3, 11, 15, 44].
Wall  resurrected it for two species,
Gunther, 1864, later Smith [35, 37] sup-
ported him. McDowell  again reduced this genus to
s. str. on the basis of morpho-
logical and osteological studies; in subsequent works
this fact was either contested  or accepted [8, 9, 26].
As a result of the revision of this group [18, 19, 20]
McDowell’s point of view was conﬁrmed, which led to
the division of the genus
into ﬁve species
groups, which are suggested by us as subgenera
[20, 22]. In the last annotated catalogues of poisonous
snakes [13, 29, 47] the whole polytypic generic group
sensu lato is considered as the monotypic
without adequate analysis of the
osteological characteristics. Following McDowell 
we shall try to prove the polytypy of this group divided
into ﬁve separated genera [19, 22].
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The investigations were based on the collection of
the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sci-
ences (ZIN) and comprehensive materials of the Paciﬁc
Fisheries Research Center (TINRO-Center). Additional
materials were gained from the British Museum of Nat-
ural History (BMNH), the American Museum of Natu-
ral History (AMNH), and the Berlin Zoological
Museum of Humboldt University. Twelve specimens of
were studied from the eastern coast
of India (including ZMB 2837, one of the syntypes of
); 36 specimens of
the eastern coast of India, the Gulf of Siam, Indonesia,
Australia, the Gulf of Tonkin, and the southern China
coast; 18 specimens of
from the Gulf of Siam
and Malaysian coastal waters; 9 specimens of
from Malaysian coast and the north Austra-
lian shelf; 23 specimens of
from the east-
ern coast of India and the Andaman Sea; type specimen
from the southern coast of New Guinea
(AMNH 58869); 16 specimens of
Gulf of Siam and the coastal waters of Vietnam; 8 spec-
(including ZIN 19678, 19679,
19680 type series) from the north Australian shelf;
14 specimens of
(including ZMB 7436,
) from the Gulf of
Siam, the Philippine coast, Indonesia, and the north
Australian shelf; and 17 specimens of
the eastern coast of India and the Bay of Bengal. The
data about the geographical distribution was borrowed
from Smith’s  and Minton’s  works.
In this paper standard measurement methods and the
abbreviations of folidose features were used .
Latreille in Sonnini et Latreille,
Latreille in Sonnini et Latreille, 1802:
193 (type species
Latreille in Son-
nini et Latreille, 1802 =
1799, by subsequent designation—Smith, 1926: 41).
Lesson in Belanger, 1834: 321
Shaw, 1802, by mono-
Gray, 1842: 60 (type species
Shaw, 1802, by monotypy).
1921: 335 (type species
1803, by original designation).
Review of Sea Snakes of the Genus
sensu stricto (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae)
V. E. Kharin
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received November 14, 2003
—The results of the genus
revision s. str. are presented. The genus is divided into three sub-
subgen. nov. The validity of
is conﬁrmed. New data on the distribution of
, sea snakes, revision, validity, subspecies, subgenera.