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Gerarda prevostiana (EYDOUX & GERVAIS, 1837)

IUCN Red List - Gerarda prevostiana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Gerard's Water Snake, Cat-eyed Water Snake, Glossy Marsh snake
G: Katzenaugen-Wassertrugnatter 
SynonymColuber (Homalopsis) prevostianus EYDOUX & GERVAIS 1837: 5
Gerarda bicolor GRAY 1849 (fide SMITH 1943)
Campylodon Prevostianum — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 964
Gerarda prevostiana — COPE 1862: 1
Heleophis flavescens MÜLLER 1884 (fide SMITH 1943)
Helipophis flavescens MÜLLER 1884: 286 (fide MURPHY & VORIS 2014, in error)
Gerardia prevostiana — WALL 1905: 307
Gerardia prevostiana — WALL 1921: 262
Gerardia prevostiana — SMITH 1943: 394
Gerardia prevostianus — DAS 1996: 56
Gerarda prevostiana — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 353
Gerarda prevostiana — COX et al. 1998: 42
Gerardia prevostiana — SHARMA 2004
Gerarda prevostiana — MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 20
Gerarda prevostiana — WALLACH et al. 2014: 306 
DistributionIndia (coastal Maharashtra, N Kerala, Gujarat), S Myanmar (= Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand ?, Philippines, S Cambodia,
Bangladesh ?; West Malaysia; Singapore, Indonesia (Borneo: Sarawak)

Type locality: “Manille” (= Manila, 14°37' N, 120°58' E, Luzon, Philippines) Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: unknown (DAS 2013) 
CommentHistory: The year of description of this species has been given as “1822”; we cannot find a paper by Eydoux & Gervais from that year, but another paper published in 1837 is available online.

Diet: mainly crabs. The Gerard's water snake tears its prey into bite-sized pieces, in contrast to most other snakes (Jayne et al. 2002).

Habitat: marshes, mangroves and tidal rivers in the costal areas, i.e. partially “marine”.

Mildly venomous.

Type species: Coluber (Homalopsis) prevostianus EYDOUX & GERVAIS 1837 is the type species of the genus Gerarda GRAY 1849.

Diagnosis (genus): Nasal scales separated by the internasal, dorsal scales smooth in 17 rows at mid-body; and loreal scale present. This monotypic genus is perhaps most easily mistaken for its sister lineage Fordonia, which has 25–29 scale rows at mid- body (MURPHY & VORIS 2014). 
EtymologyEtymology (genus): Beolens et al. (2011) were not able to track down the origin of the name Gerarda, but several people with “Gerard” as first or last name had sent specimens to Gray. The name Gerardia is preoccupied. 
References
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. The dentition of the Siamese river snake, Herpeton tentaculatum. The native country of Gerarda prevostiana. On Rhabdosoma (Catostoma) lineatum. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1862: 1 - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil; Hans BREUER and Samuel SHONLEBEN 2013. Gerarda prevostiana (Eydoux and Gervais, 1837) (Squamata: Serpentes: Homalopsidae), a New Snake for Borneo. Asian Herpetological Research 4 (1): 76–78 - get paper here
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Eydoux, F. & P. Gervais 1822. Voyage de la Favourite. Reptiles. Magazine Zool. Guérin, Paris, 111: 1 - 10
  • Eydoux, F. & P. Gervais 1837. Reptiles. In: Guérin, Voyage de la Favorite, Cl. III, Pl. 12 à 15. Magasin de zoologie 7: 1-10 - get paper here
  • Fabre, Anne-Claire; David Bickford, Marion Segall and Anthony Herrel 2016. The impact of diet, habitat use, and behaviour on head shape evolution in homalopsid snakes Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12753 - get paper here
  • Jayne, B. C., Voris, H. K. & Ng, P. K. L. 2002. Snake circumvents constraints on prey size. Nature 418: 143
  • KARNS, D.R., VORIS, H.K. & GOODWIN, H.G. 2002. Ecology of Oriental-Australian rear-fanged water snakes (Colubridae: Homalopsinae) in the Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Forest, Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 50 (2): 487-498 - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • McCleary, Ryan J. R., David P. Bickford, Anthony Herrel and Anne-Claire Fabre. 2014. Gerarda prevostiana (Gerard's watersnake) reproduction. Herpetological Review 45 (3): 516
  • Müller, F. 1885. Dritter Nachtrag zum Katalog der herpetologischen Sammlung des Basler Museums. Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel 7 (2): 274-299 - get paper here
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. FIELDIANA: LIFE AND EARTH SCIENCES (8): 1–43 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Rahman, Shahriar Caesar; Reza, Ahm Ali; Datta, Rupa; Jenkins, Chris L.; Luiselli, Luca 2014. Niche partitioning and population structure of sympatric mud snakes (Homalopsidae) from Bangladesh. The Herpetological Journal 24 (2): 123-128 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Somaweera, R., Ukuwela, K. & Alagoda, T. 2006. A note on specimens of Gerarda prevostiana (Coubridae: Serpentes) collected from Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 35(1): 91-93
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - get paper here
  • Ukuwela, Kanishka D. B.; Anslem de Silva, Kate L. Sanders 2017. Further specimens of the mud snake, Gerarda prevostiana (Homalopsidae) from Sri Lanka with insights from molecular phylogenetics. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY 65: 29–34 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1905. Notes on Snakes collected in Cannanore from 5th November 1903 to 5th August 1904. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 16: 292 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus<br />and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
 
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