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Many-banded krait or banded sea snake?

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Diving Green Island, Taiwan, I found this snake. It looks very much like a many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus) but since it was swimming under water and hiding under a coral rock I am not sure. Could it be a banded sea snake? The pictures I have seen look different. Any help appreciated.

Wolfram

TG_407_40.jpg

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What are often called "sea snakes"are in fact kraits, so you're on the right track.  Hard to tell which species without seeing the head, I suppose. 

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This is not a Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina), which is white/silver/gray with black bands, rather than black with white banding.  I would go with your first bet, the Taiwanese Bungarus multicinctus.  As I understand it, this species of Bungarus eats fish and often inhabits brackish waters.  If you found it miles offshore -- you do not say, that would certainly be very unusual; nevertheless, based on what we see of its appearance in your photograph, it certainly looks similar to the Taiwanese Bungarus multicinctus and is definitely not Laticauda.

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Take a look at Emdocephalus annulatus, Turtle Headed Sea Snake.

Edited by chowe

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Thank you very much for the fast reply, this is a great community! I think Chowe is right, it looks like Emdocephalus annulatus or the related Emydocephalus ijimae. The latter is endemic in south Japan, China, and Taiwan, so that looks pretty good. I found this snake during shore dives about 100 m from the coast in 10 - 15 m depths.

Best, Wolfram

 

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