Comparison of freshwater discrimination ability in three species of sea kraits (Laticauda semifasciata, L. laticaudata and L. colubrina)

Noriko Kidera, Akira Mori, Ming Chung Tu

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Three species of amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) require drinking freshwater to regulate water balance. The extent of terrestriality is known to differ among them. Species with higher extent of terrestriality would drink freshwater accumulated on land, whereas less terrestrial species would rely totally on freshwater that runs into the sea. Consequently, we predicted that the latter species might have a better ability to follow the flow of freshwater or lower salinity water in the sea than the former. We investigated the freshwater discrimination ability of three sea krait species, using a Y-maze apparatus. We found that Laticauda semifasciata and Laticauda laticaudata, less terrestrial species, followed freshwater significantly more frequently than seawater, whereas Laticauda colubrina, more terrestrial species, unbiasedly selected freshwater and seawater. This result supports our prediction and suggests that less terrestrial sea kraits more efficiently access freshwater sources in the sea than highly terrestrial sea kraits. It is likely that behavioral rehydration systems vary among sea kraits in relation to their terrestrial tendency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1



  • Rehydration
  • Salinity
  • Sea snakes
  • Terrestrial tendency
  • Water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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