[Coral-List] Comparing diving destinations (SEA SNAKES)

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 08:22:17 EDT 2012

I have seen what presumably was Pelamis platura three times in the
Maldives. Twice up close and out of the water, and once in the water (with
its head out) beside a boat I was diving from.

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 7:28 AM, Keven Reed <reedkc at comcast.net> wrote:

> Hello again, Bastiaan,
>    Not surprised you seldom hear 'free divers' called sea snakes and sea
> kraits given much consideration on the bulletin board devoted to coral
> polyp research and coral reef ecology, NOAA's coral-list.
>    One, there are no sea snakes to encounter in the wild in the Caribbean
> and Atlantic oceans.
>    Two, I've dove with people who would rather encounter sharks than
> snakes underwater for some unknown reason.
>    Three, these underwater marine reptiles seem to be infrequently
> encountered on many coral reefs.  In Hawaii, for example, there is only one
> species that occasionally a fisherman nets: a yellow-bellied pelagic sea
> snake passing by in open water.  By the way the yellow-bellied pelagic sea
> snake in most texts for years was under the nomenclature, Pelamis platurus
> Stoliczka.  However, it was renamed (corrected) in 2003 in the scientific
> literature to Pelamis platura (Linnaeus, 1766), or Pelamis platura Bohme,
> 2003.
>    FYI, there was a stimulating sea snake symposium with prominent
> researchers, past & present, at the annual meeting of the 2012 Society for
> Integrative and Comparative Biology held the first week of this year in
> Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
>    Harvey Lillywhite at U. of Florida, Gainesville has recently done
> research demonstrating a paradigm shift:  apparently sea snakes do not
> drink seawater as previously thought--rather they seek out freshwater
> lenses.  Enjoy the following link in Science Daily:
> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106153629.htm
>    It's now believed even the pelagic Pelamis will die in sea water from
> dehydration after approximately three months if there is no rainfall on the
> sea's surface.
>    Also, in our Coral Reefs journal (from ISRS) last year, Francois
> Brischoux et al. published about trophic relationships between fish and sea
> snakes on the coral reefs of New Caledonia.  See Coral Reefs (2011)
> 30:155-165.
>    Additionally, there have been a couple "Reef sites" in Coral Reefs
> journal in recent years:  Highly venomous sea kraits must fight to get
> their prey.  Coral Reefs (2010) 29:379
>  and
> A sea snake wearing green velvet.  Coral Reefs (2005) 24: 403
>    I used to insure we had antivenin (antivenom) for elapids/sea snakes in
> our pharmacy in southwestern Japan.  We purchased it from CSL  Australia.
>  We never had to administer it during the eight years I lived in Okinawa,
> despite frequent encounters with sea snakes underwater there.
>    Ming-Chung Tu is a senior sea snake biologist out of Taiwan, FYI.
>    Hope this helps,
> Keven
> Dr. Keven C. Reed
> Fleming Island, FL 32003
> 904-505-7277  mobile
> 904-264-1206  office
>  ----- Original Message -----
>  From: Bastiaan Vermonden
>  To: Keven Reed
>  Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:05 PM
>  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Comparing diving destinations
>  Hi Keven,
>  I haven't really looked to much at reef.org it but it is definitely very
> interesting. When I have time I will delve into it more. It is also very
> nice to hear that this research helped popularize an area, a good example
> that it is possible to change consumer behavior. Therefore this might be a
> useful example for me when I try to convince people of the validity of my
> project.
>  Also some questions about seasnakes. I can't remember any mention of them
> in any of the coral reef research literature that I read. Are seasnakes
> under represented in research or is it just that I haven't been looking?
> And secondly are seasnakes threatened by human activities or are they
> generally left alone?
>  Thanks for the tips I really appreciate it!
>  Bastiaan
>  On 28 March 2012 20:53, Keven Reed <reedkc at comcast.net> wrote:
>    Bastiaan,
>    Reef.org conservation organization has popularized the Blue Heron
> Bridge dive at Riviera Beach, FL for cryptic seahorses among other muck
> diving fishes, FYI.  Have you checked the fish surveys posted in the Reef
> data base?
>    Unfortunately these surveys don't usually include the invertebrates or
> the sea snakes (vertebrates) I like.......
>    Keven
>      ----- Original Message -----
>      From: Bastiaan Vermonden
>      To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>      Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 4:20 AM
>      Subject: [Coral-List] Comparing diving destinations
>      Dear coral listers,
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"... the earth is, always has been, and always will be more beautiful than
it is useful."
William Ophuls, 1977. The Politics of Scarcity

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