Hydrophis elegans (GRAY, 1842)
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Elegant or bar-bellied seasnake|
|Synonym||Aturia elegans GRAY 1842: 61|
Distira grandis BOULENGER 1896: 293
Hydrophis elegans — SMITH 1974: 104
Hydrophis elegans — COGGER 1983: 250
Leioselasma elegans — KHARIN 1984
Leioselasma elegans — WELCH 1994: 71
Hydrophis elegans — SHINE 1994
Hydrophis elegans — COGGER 2000: 716
Leioselasma elegans — KHARIN 2005
Hydrophis elegans — SANDERS et al. 2012
Leioselasma elegans — WALLACH et al. 2014: 367
|Distribution||Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia),|
Papua New Guinea, Philippines (Panay etc.)
Type locality: Port Essington, N. T.
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 1922.214.171.124|
Syntypes: BMNH 19126.96.36.199-11 (Malay Archipelago), BMNH 188.8.131.52 (Qld. ), from Malay Archipelago and Qld. [Distira grandis].
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Distinguished from other species of Hydrophis by its high ventral count (354-401) and its colour pattern which consists of black bands, constricted on sides (of thinner parts of body) and bars on back and belly where the bands have been broken (thicker parts of body). No white orbital ring. (Smith 1974)|
Description: Body long, slender anteriorly. Head small, elongate. Canthus rostralis never prominent. Grows to approximately 1525 mm (M.A. Smith records 2240 mm).
Rostral as wide as high. Nasals less than twice width of rostral. Nostril almost touching posterior and lateral borders of nasal. Preocular 1; postoculars 2 (rarely 1). One large anterior temporal. Upper labials 6 or 7, third and fourth entering orbit. First two or three labials deep, remainder small. Two pairs of chin shields prominent; anterior pair the longest, always in broad contact; posterior pair always separated by a small scale.
Nuchals in 25-30 rows. Scales around thickest part of body in 35-45 rows (increase 10-20); weakly imbricate, smooth or with a short keel. Ventrals smooth, 354-401 (? 314), slightly wider than adjacent dorsals. 39-44 blackish dorsal bars or bands, the bands tending to be constricted on flanks and con- fined to tail and thinner parts of body. Bands which have been broken at constriction form a dorsal and ventral bar. These bars are confined to thicker parts of body. Interspaces between'bars and bands on back have a row of small black dots, while on flanks there is a small black spot. Ventrals with a dark longitudinal line (most pronounced in juveniles). Head blackish in juveniles, grey or olivaceous in adults. (Smith 1974)
|Comment||Venomous! Synonymy partly after COGGER 1983.|
Habitat: marine. This species is known from 145 m depth in the Broome area, probably one of the deepest records of sea snakes (A. Rasmussen, pers. comm. 27 Jan 2016).
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