Emydocephalus annulatus KREFFT, 1869
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Emydocephalus annulatus?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Turtle-headed seasnake, Egg-eating Sea Snake|
|Synonym||Emydocephalus annulatus KREFFT 1869: 92|
Emydocephalus tuberculatus KREFFT 1869: 93
Aipysurus chelonicephalus BAVAY 1869: 34
Emydocephalus annulatus — COGGER 1983: 246
Emydocephalus annulatus — WELCH 1994: 59
Emydocephalus annulatus — COGGER 2000: 708
Emydocephalus annulatus — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Emydocephalus szczerbaki DOTSENKO 2011 (fide NANKIVELL et al. 2020)
Emydocephalus annulatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 268
|Distribution||Indonesian sea (Timor), New Caledonia, Vietnam, Philippines,|
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)
Type locality: "probably the Australian Seas."
szczerbaki: Vietnam; Type locality: Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vietnam
|Types||Syntypes: AMS (AM) R454, AM R6633|
Holotype: AMS (AM) R455, from "probably the Australian Seas." [Emydocephalus tuberculatus].
Holotype: Marine Museum Brest, from Lifu (as Lifou), Loyalty Ils., New Caledonia, fide Smith (1926) [Aipysurus chelonicephalus].
Holotype: NMNHU (also as ZM NMNH) 27, Kiev, Ukraine [szczerbaki]
|Diagnosis||Diagnostic characters: Three supralabials, the second very long. Large ventrals, each three or more times as broad as the adjacent body scales. Scale rows around neck 15; scale rows around body 1, rarely 15; ventrals 125– 146. Only rudimentary maxillary teeth behind fangs. Colouration: Highly variable, body ranging from uniform black or brown to yellow, with or without bands.|
DIAGNOSIS (genus). Maxillary bone shorter than ectopterygoid and extends forward beyond pala- tine; no maxillary teeth present following the very small venom fangs; nostrils superior; nasal scales in contact with one another dorsally; scales in dorsum of head large; second upper labial scale very elongate; scales on body imbricate, in 15–19 longitudinal rows at midbody (Leviton et al. 2014)
Synonymy mainly after COGGER 1983. BOULENGER (1908) synonymized E. ijimae with E. annulatus.
Distribution: Does not occur in Japan (T. HIKIDA, pers. comm.).
Type species: Emydocephalus annulatus KREFFT 1869 is the type species of the genus Emydocephalus KREFFT 1869.
Diet: Feeds only on fish eggs.
|Etymology||Named after the diminutive form (“annul-”) of Latin “anus” = ring.|
Emydocephalus szczerbaki was named after Nikolai Nikolaevich Szczerbak (1927-1998), Ukrainian herpetologist who was arrested by the NKVD (Secret Police) and imprisoned in the Gulag (1948-1954). See Adler 1999 for more details.