SREL Reprint #2642

 

 

 

Sea kraits (Squamata: Laticauda spp.) as a useful bioassay for assessing local diversity of eels (Muraenidae, Congridae) in the western Pacific Ocean

Robert N. Reed1,2, Richard Shine1, and Sohan Shetty3

1Department of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia
2Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina 29802
3Natural Sciences (Biology), National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637 616

Abstract: Collection of eels of the families Muraenidae and Congridae is often hampered by logistical and procedural difficulties. Sea kraits of the genus Laticauda may be useful bioassays for moray and conger eels in the western Pacific Ocean. Some widely distributed species of Laticauda appear to prey exclusively on eels, and these eels are readily palpated from snakes after they return to land to digest their prey. We removed 79 eels from 276 snakes on the island of Efate, Republic of Vanuatu, during November and December of 2000. Species diversity inferred from these eels was markedly different from the diversity inferred from eels from Vanuatu deposited in the Australian Museum, perhaps reflecting differential abilities of snakes and humans to capture certain eel species. This bioassay technique is inexpensive and logistically simple and may prove complementary to more traditional collecting methods.

SREL Reprint #2642

Reed, R. N., R. Shine and S. Shetty. 2002. Sea kraits (Squamata: Laticauda spp.) as a useful bioassay for assessing local diversity of eels (Muraenidae, Congridae) in the western Pacific Ocean. Copeia 4:1098-1101.

To request a reprint

 

 
http://srel.uga.edu www.uga.edu