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Hydrophis caerulescens (SHAW, 1802)

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis caerulescens - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesHydrophis caerulescens caerulescens (SHAW 1802)
Hydrophis caerulescens hybridus (SCHLEGEL 1844) 
Common NamesE: Dwarf Seasnake
Chinese: 青灰海蛇 
SynonymHydrus Caerulescens SHAW 1802: 561
Hydrophis caerulescens GRAY 1842
Hydrophis hybrida SCHLEGEL 1844
Hydrophis hybrida — FISCHER 1856: 43
Hydrophis protervus JAN 1859
Hydrophis frontalis JAN 1863
Hydrophis polydonta JAN 1863
Hydrophis caerulescens thai SMITH 1920
Polyodontognathus caerulescens — WALL 1921: 375
Hydrophis caerulescens — SMITH 1943: 463
Aturia caerulescens — WELCH 1994: 25
Hydrophis caerulescens — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Hydrophis caerulescens — COGGER 2000: 714
Polyodontognathus caerulescens — KHARIN 2004
Hydrophis caerulescens — DAVID et al. 2004
Hydrophis caerulescens — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Hydrophis caerulescens — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Hydrophis caerulescens — SANDERS et al. 2012
Polyodontognathus caerulescens — WALLACH et al. 2014: 574
Polyodontognathus caerulescens — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 279

Hydrophis caerulescens hybridus SCHLEGEL 1844
Hydrophis hybrida SCHLEGEL 1844: 115
Polyodontognathus caerulescens hybridus — KHARIN 2005
Polyodontognathus caerulescens hybridus — KHARIN 2016: 95 
DistributionIndian Ocean (Pakistan, India (Gujarat etc.), Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, W Indonesia (Borneo), Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh,
Coasts of Shandong and Guangdong (China), South China Sea;
Australia (Queensland), New Caledonia/Loyalty Islands

hybridus: gulfs of Thailand and Tonkin, yellow sea, coastal areas of Java and Kalimantan, Gulf of Carpentaria.

Type locality: Indian Ocean (as East-Indian); however, label on type cites type locality as "Indian Ocean: Vizagapatam”. See SMITH 1926.  
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.3.90 M, from Indian Ocean (as East-Indian).
Holotype: RMNH 1492 [hybridus] 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS (DIAGNOSIS).— Scales on thickest part of body quadrangular or hexagonal in shape, feebly imbricate or juxtaposed; 14–18 maxillary teeth behind front fangs; 2 anterior tempo-rals; scales in 31–43 rows on the neck, 38–54 around midbody (increase from neck to midbody 6–14); ventrals 253–334, distinct throughout though not twice as large as adjacent body scales; bluish gray above, whitish below, with 40–60 broad bands, about twice as wide as interspaces, tapering ventrally (in older adults, bands become indistinct). [after LEVITON 2003, but see also RASMUSSEN et al. 2011] 
CommentVenomous!

Synonymy after COGGER 1983.

Distribution: Not listed by BAUER & VINDUM 1990 for New Caledonia/Loyalty Islands. Listed for New Caledonia by BAUER & SADLIER 2000 under “incidental taxa and questionable taxa”.

Type species: Hydrus caerulescens is the type species of the genus Polyodontognathus. Diagnosis of the genus Polyodontognathus in KHARIN 2004.

Habitat: marine. 
Etymology 
References
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. (eds.) 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.;Vindum, Jens V. 1990. A checklist and key to the herpetofauna of New Caledonia, with remarks on biogeography. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 47 (2): 17-45 - 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
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