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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 NamesDwarf Seasnake 
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 — SANG 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, Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, W Indonesia, Malaysia), Vietnam,
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. Map legend:
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: BMNH 1946.1.3.90 M, from Indian Ocean (as East-Indian).
Holotype: RMNH 1492 [hybridus] 
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”.

DIAGNOSTIC 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]

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

Habitat: marine. 
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
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 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
  • DAVID, Patrick; MEREL J. COX, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, LAWAN CHANHOME AND KUMTHORN THIRAKHUPT 2004. Book Review - When a bookreview is not sufficient to say all: an in-depth analysis of a recent book on the snakes of Thailand, with an updated checklist of the snakes of the Kingdom. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 4(1): 47-80 - 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
  • Fischer, J.G. 1856. Die Familie der Seeschlangen. Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3: 1-78
  • Grandison, A. G. C. 1978. Snakes of West Malaysia and Singapore. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 81 [1977]: 283-303 - get paper here
  • Ineich I.; Rasmussen A R. 1997. Sea snakes from New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands (Elapidae, Laticaudinae and Hydrophiinae). Zoosystema 19 (2-3): 185-192.
  • Karthikeyan S. & Balasubramanian, T. 2007. Species diversity of Sea Snake (Hydrophiidae) distributed in the Coramantal Coast (East Coast of India). Int. J. Zool. res. 3 (3): 107-131
  • Kharin, V. E. 2006. An Annotated Checklist of Sea Snakes of Vietnam, with Notes on a New Record of the Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait, Laticauda colubrina (Schneider, 1799)(Laticaudidae, Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 32 (4): 223–228.
  • Kharin, V.E. 2004. On the taxonomic status of the sea snake Hydrophis caerulescens (Shaw, 1802) (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). Biologiya Morya (Vladivostok) 30 (3): 227-229
  • Kharin, Vladimir E.; Jakob Hallermann 2009. Annotated catalogue of sea kraits (Laticaudidae) and sea snakes (Hydrophiidae) of the herpetological collection of the Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg. Mitt. hamb. zool. Mus. Inst. 106: 51-67
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Guinevere O.U. Wogan; Michelle S. Koo; George R. Zug; Rhonda S. Lucas and Jens V. Vindum 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407–462
  • Murphy,J.C.; Cox,M.J. & Voris,H.K. 1999. A key to the sea snakes in the gulf of Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 47: 95-108
  • Rasmussen, A. R. & I. INEICH 2000. Sea snakes of New Caledonia and surrounding waters (Serpentes: Elapidae): first report on the occurence of Lapemis curtus and description of new species from the genus Hydrophis. Hamadryad 25 (2): 91-99 - get paper here
  • RASMUSSEN, ARNE REDSTED; JOHAN ELMBERG, PETER GRAVLUND & IVAN INEICH 2011. Sea snakes (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) in Vietnam: a comprehensive checklist and an updated identification key. Zootaxa 2894: 1–20 - get paper here
  • RASMUSSEN, ARNE REDSTED; KATE LAURA SANDERS, MICHAEL L. GUINEA & ANDREW P. AMEY 2014. Sea snakes in Australian waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae)—a review with an updated identification key. Zootaxa 3869 (4): 351–371 - get paper here
  • Sanders, K.L.; Michael S.Y. Lee, Mumpuni, Terry Bertozzi, Arne R. Rasmussen 2012. Multilocus phylogeny and recent rapid radiation of the viviparous sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 (3): 575-591 - get paper here
  • Sang, Nguyen Van; Ho Thu Cuc, Nguyen, Quang Truong 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Shaw, G. 1802. General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History. Vol.3, part 2. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London: 313-615 - get paper here
  • Smith, M. A. 1926. Monograph on the Sea Snakes. (Hydrophiidae). London: British Museum, xvii + 130 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.
  • Stuebing, R.B. & Voris, H.K. 1990. Relative abundance of marine snakes on the West coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Herpetology 24 (2): 201-202 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1913. The sea-snake Hydrophis coerulescens, Shaw. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 23: 373 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1918. Notes on an interesting specimen of the Sea Snake Hydrophis caerulescens. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 25: 308 - 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
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
 
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