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Hydrophis hardwickii (GRAY, 1834)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Hardwicke’s spine-bellied seasnake 
SynonymLapemis hardwickii GRAY 1834: 87
Hydrophis hardwickii — GÜNTHER 1864: 380
Hydrophis hardwickei — BOETTGER 1888: 150 (emendation)
Lapemis hardwickii — STEJNEGER 1907: 435
Lapemis hardwickii — SMITH 1943: 468
Lapemis hardwickii — GRANDISON 1978: 297
Lapemis curtus hardwickii — MACCARTHY in GOLAY et al. 1993
Lapemis hardwickii — COGGER 2000: 720
Labemis [sic] hardwickii – GROSSMANN & TILLACK 2001
Lapemis hardwickii — FERNER et al. 2001
Hydrophis hardwickii — SANDERS et al. 2012 (by implication) 
DistributionPersian Gulf (United Arab Emirates, Iran)
Indian Ocean (Pakistan ?, Sri Lanka, India)
South China Sea north to the coasts of Fujian and Shandong
Strait of Taiwan, Singapore,
Indoaustralian Archipelago
North coast of Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)
Philippines (Panay, Luzon etc.)
Pacific Ocean (Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Japan, New Guinea)

hardwickii: Myanmar, southeast coast of India and the Straits of Malacca, east to Australia and north to China, Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan (fide LEVITON et al. 2003).

Type locality: India  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.18.39 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS).— Body short, stout, neck region not less than half as thick at midbody; head large; scales squarish or hexagonal, juxtaposed, outer 3–4 rows larger than others, scale rows: males 23–31 around neck, females 27–35, around midbody, males 25–27, females 33–41; ventrals small, usually distinct anteriorly, not so posteriorly, in males 114–186, in females 141–230; head shields entire, parietals occasionally divided; nostrils superior, nasals in contact with one another; prefrontal usually in contact with second upper labial; 7–8 upper labials, 3–4 bordering eye; 1 pre- and 1–2 postoculars; 2, rarely 3, anterior temporals; greenish or yellow- olive above, whitish below, 35–50 olive to dark gray dorsal bars, tapering to a point laterally, occasionally encircling body, a narrow dark ventral stripe or broad irregular band occasionally present; adults often lack any pattern and are uniform olive to dark gray; head pale olive to black, yellow markings on snout present or not. Total length 860 mm, tail length 85 mm. [after LEVITON 2003]

Synonymy: Voris and Gritis (1990), KHARIN (2005), and WALLACH et al. 2014: 362 included Lapemis hardwickii Gray, 1834 in the synonymy of L. curtus Shaw, 1802. Synonymy and distribution not yet corrected for resurrection of hardwickii from curtus.

Distribution: Not in Pakistan fide KHAN 2002 (pers. comm.).

Type species: Lapemis hardwickii is the type species of the genus Lapemis GRAY in HARDWICKE & GRAY 1834.

Habitat: marine. 
EtymologyNamed after Major-General Thomas Hardwicke (1756-1835) who served in the Bengal army of the Honourable East India Company. He was an amateur naturalist and collector who worked with Gray. 
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