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Hemiaspis signata (JAN, 1859)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Marsh Snake, Swamp Snake, Black-bellied Swamp Snake 
SynonymAlecto signata JAN 1859: 128
Denisonia signata BOULENGER 1896
Denisonia vagrans GARMAN 1901: 13
Drepanodontis signata — RANKIN 1972
Hemiaspis signata — COGGER 1983: 226
Hemiaspis signata — WELCH 1994: 65
Hemiaspis signata — COGGER 2000: 656
Hemiaspis signata — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Hemiaspis signata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 325 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Sydney, Australia  
TypesHolotype: ZMH 4433 (formerly ZMH 775) from Sydney, collected Krefft, 1861 fide Hallermann (1998: 206). Cogger et al. (1983) and Wallach et al. (2014) list the holotype as SMF 9338 2a (Sydney, NSW, collected W. Kirschner or A. Becker), presumably following the listing under that number by Boettger (1898), but was unable to find that specimen. However, Boettger (1898) and Mertens (1922, 1967) did not list that specimen as a type.
Holotype: MCZ 6490, from Dunk Is., Qld. [Denisonia vagrans] 
CommentSynonymy partly after COGGER 1983.

Habitat: may be partially marine, occuring in marshes along the east coast of Australia.


Type species: Alecto signata JAN 1859: 128 is the type species of the genus Hemiaspis FITZINGER 1861.

Diagnosis (genus): Cogger 1986 ? (fide Hutchinson 1990, who doesn’t cite Cogger 1986). 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Fitzinger, L. J. 1861. Die Ausbeute der österreichischen Naturforscher an Säugethieren und Reptilien während der Weltumsegelung Sr. Majestät Fregatte Novara. Sitzungsberichte der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Klasse der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 42: 383—416 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1901. Some reptiles and batrachians from Australasia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 39: 1-14 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson M N 1990. The generic classification of the Australian terrestrial elapid snakes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (3): 397-405
  • Jan, G. 1859. Plan d'une iconographie descriptive des ophidiens et description sommaire de nouvelles espèces de serpents. Rev. Mag. Zool., Paris (2) (11-12): 122-130 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1994. Reptiles and amphibians of Seven Mile Beach National park, NSW. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 24-30
  • Murphy, Michael J.;Daly, Garry 1997. Records of the marsh snake Hemiaspis signata near Nowra, NSW: A southern extension of the known range of the species. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 27 (2): 33-34
  • Ormsby, A. I. 1950. The marsh snake. Proc. R. Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1948: 29-31 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Rankin, P. R. 1972. Notes on the swamp snake (Drepanodontis signata) in captivity. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 5: 15-17
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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