Key To The Species Of Marine Reptiles Of The Great Barrier Reef

1. Animal with four flippers and encased in bony shell 2

- Animal legless and not encased in bony shell 7

2. Carapace with distinct longitudinal ridges; no large flat plates

Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback; luth)

- Carapace lacking longitudinal ridges and with large flat plates 3

3. Four pairs of costal scales (row of plates flanking each side of central row of plates) 4

- More than four pairs of costal plates 6

4. Plates on carapace overlapping Eretomochelys imbricata (hawksbill)

- Plates on carapace juxtaposed 5

5. Carapace low-domed with edges upturned Natator depressus (flatback)

- Carapace strongly arched with tapering edges Chelonia mydas (green turtle)

6. Carapace longer than wide and with five (rarely six) pairs of costal scales

Caretta caretta (loggerhead)

- Carapace oval, not much longer than wide and with six or more pairs of costal scales Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley)

7. Belly scales broad and conspicuous, at least three times as broad as adjacent body scales 8

- Belly scales small and inconspicuous, much less than three times as broad as adjacent body scales 11

8. Three scales on upper lip of each side of mouth, the second one very long and clearly extended Emydocephalus annulatus (turtleheaded sea snake)

- Six or more scales on upper lip of each side of mouth 9

9. Scales on parietal region of head irregular and small, about equal in size to scales on neck Aipysurus duboisii (Dubois' sea snake)

- Scales on parietal region of head larger than those on neck 10

10. Parietal shields on head fragmented and asymmetrical on the two sides of the head Aipysurus laevis (olive sea snake)

- Parietal shields on head not fragmented and are symmetrical on the two sides of the head Aipysurus eydouxii (Eydoux' sea snake)

11. Scales above eye projecting as spines Acalyptophis peronii (horned sea snake)

- Scales above eyes not projecting or spine-like 12

12. Median longitudinal groove on underside of chin 13

- No median longitudinal groove on underside of chin 14

13. 47 or more rows of scales around middle of body; black dorsal (upper body) colour sharply demarcated from lighter (yellow or brown) of the underside

Pelamis platursus (yellow-bellied sea snake)

- Fewer than 47 rows of scales around middle of body; hexagonal or squarish body scales with raised tubercles (spines) Lapemis curtus (spine-bellied sea snake)

14. Median anterior chin-scale triangular, broader than long 15

- Median anterior chin-scale dagger-shaped and much longer than broad

Enhydrina schistosa (beaked sea snake)

15. Ventral scales leaf-like in double row forming a keel

Astrotia stokesii (Stoke's sea snake)

- Ventral scales flat, not leaf-like 16

16. Anterior chin-shields longer than wide and separated by less than half their length from first pair of infralabials 17

- Anterior chin-shields wider than long and separated by about half their length from first pair of infralabials 19

17. Head about as wide as rest of body; have ten or more maxillary teeth following fang Hydrophis ornatus (ornate sea snake)

- Head narrower than rest of body; fewer than ten maxillary teeth following fang ... 18

18. Ventral scales more than 300 Hydrophis elegans (elegant sea snake)

- Ventral scales less than 300 Hydrophis mcdowelli (McDowell's sea snake)

19. Ventral scales more than 300 Disteira kingii (king's sea snake)

- Ventral scales less than 300 Disteira major (greater sea snake)

Going Green For More Cash

Going Green For More Cash

Stop Wasting Resources And Money And Finnally Learn Easy Ideas For Recycling Even If You’ve Tried Everything Before! I Easily Found Easy Solutions For  Recycling Instead Of Buying New And Started Enjoying Savings As Well As Helping The Earth And I'll Show You How YOU Can, Too! Are you sick to death of living with the fact that you feel like you are wasting resources and money?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment