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Hydrophis fasciatus (SCHNEIDER, 1799)

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis fasciatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Striped Sea Snake
Chinese: 环纹海蛇 
SynonymHydrus Fasciatus SCHNEIDER 1799: 240
Disteira fasciata — FITZINGER 1826: 55
Pelamis Lindsayi GRAY 1831
Hydrophis gracilis SCHLEGEL 1837: 507 (not SHAW 1802) (part.)
Aturia Lindsayi — GRAY 1842
Hydrophis fasciatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1349
Hydrophis chloris GÜNTHER 1864: 370 (not H. cloris DAUDIN 1803)
Hydrophis Lindsayi — ANDERSON 1871: 191
Hydrophis fasciatus — PETERS 1872
Hydrophis fasciatus — BOULENGER 1896: 281
Disteira fasciata — STEJNEGER 1907: 427
Micromastophis fasciatus — PRATER 1924
Aturia fasciata — WALL 1921: 344
Hydrophis fasciatus — SMITH 1943: 464
Hydrophis fasciatus — COX et al. 1998: 34
Hydrophis fasciatus — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Hydrophis (Hydrophis) fasciatus — KHARIN 2004
Hydrophis fasciatus — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Hydrophis fasciatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 340 
DistributionIndian Ocean (coasts of Pakistan, India, Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, Malaysia), Vietnam
Arabian peninsula
Coasts of Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Borneo)
Coasts of Australia, Philippines, New Guinea
Coasts of Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian (China)

Type locality: None given (M. A. Smith (1926: 96) stated that the type of Hydrophis fasciatus was labelled "East Indies.”  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 2836, 2837 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS. Head small, body long and slender anteriorly; scales on thickest part of body subquadrangular or hexagonal in shape, juxtaposed or slightly imbricate; 5–6 maxillary teeth behind fangs; 2 anterior temporals; body scales in 28–33 rows around the neck, 47–58 around midbody (increase in number of rows from neck to midbody 20–27); ventral scales 414–514 (average 460); anterior part of body including head and neck dark olive to black with pale oval yellowish spots on sides, sometimes connected as crossbars; posterior, grayish; below whitish; dark rhomboidal spots may extend down the sides of the body and form complete annuli in young. Total length males 1100 mm, females 990 mm; tail length males 100 mm, females 75 mm. [after LEVITON 2003]

DIAGNOSIS (genus). Maxillary bone does not extend forward beyond palatine; 1–18 maxillary teeth behind venom fangs and separated by a small interval (diastema); nostrils superior; nasal scales in contact with one another or separated by elongate scales; dorsal head scales regular, large; body scales imbricate to juxtaposed; ventrals small, usually distinct and undivided. (Leviton et al. 2014) 

Synonymy partly after STEJNEGER 1907. Not listed by COGGER 2000.

Type species: Hydrus fasciatus SCHNEIDER 1799 is the type species of the genus Hydrophis LATREILLE in SONNINI & LATREILLE 1801.

Habitat: marine. 
  • Anderson, J. 1871. On some Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1871: 149-211 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M. 1998. South Asian Herpetological specimens of historical note in the Zoological Museum, Berlin. Hamadryad 23 (2): 133-149 [1999]
  • Bergman, R. A. M. 1962. The anatomy of Hydrophis fasciatus atriceps. Biol. Jaarb. 30: 389-416
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Bussarawitt,S.; Rasmussen, A.R. & Andersen, M. 1989. A preliminary study on sea snakes (Hydrophiidae) from Phuket Harbor, Phuket Island, Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc., Bangkok 37 (2): 209-225
  • 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
  • Corkill, N. L. and Cochrane, J. A. 1966. The snakes of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 62 (3): 475-506 (1965) - 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
  • de Silva, A., K. D. B. Ukuwela, A. Sivaruban & Kate L. Sanders 2011. Preliminary observations on the reproductive biology of six species of Sri Lankan sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae). Salamandra 47 (4): 193-198 - 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
  • Dunson, William A.;Minton, Sherman A. 1978. Diversity, distribution, and Ecology of Philippine Marine Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Journal of Herpetology 12 (3): 281-286 - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1826. Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihren natürlichen Verwandtschaften nebst einer Verwandschafts-Tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K. K. Zoologischen Museums zu Wien. J. G. Heubner, Wien, 66 pp. - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S., Nandhini, T., Samuel, V., Sreeraj, C., Abhilash, K., Purvaja, R., & Ramesh, R. 2019. Marine snakes of Indian coasts: historical resume, systematic checklist, toxinology, status, and identification key. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 11(1), 13132-13150 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family of Hydridae. Zoological Miscellany 2: 59-68. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • 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 1983. A new species of the genus Hydrophis sensu lato (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae) from the North Australian Shelf [in Russian]. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 62 (11): 1751-1753
  • Kharin, V.E. 2004. Review of Sea Snakes of the genus Hydrophis sensu stricto (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 30 (6): 387-394
  • Kharin, V.E. 2004. A review of sea snakes of the genus Hydrophis sensu stricto (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae). [in Russian]. Biologiya Morya (Vladivostok) 30 (6): 447-454
  • 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 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1873. Hr. W. Peters las über den Hydrus fasciatus Schneider und einige andere Seeschlangen. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1872 (December): 848-861 - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Schneider, J. G. 1799. Historiae Amphibiorum narturalis et literariae. Fasciculus primus, continens Ranas. Calamitas, Bufones, Salamandras et Hydros. Frommanni, Jena, 266 S. - 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.
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B. & INGER, R.F. 1999. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo. Natural history Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, 254 pp. [corrections in HR 31: 124].
  • 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
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - get paper here
  • VORIS, HAROLD K. 2017. Diversity of Marine Snakes on Trawling Grounds in the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. Tropical Natural History 17(2): 65–87 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1918. Notes on a Collection of Sea Snakes from Madras. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 25: 599-607 - 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. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 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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