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Hydrophis inornatus (GRAY, 1849)

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis inornatus - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Plain Seasnake, Inornate Sea Snake 
SynonymChitulia inornata GRAY 1849: 56
Chitulia fasciata GRAY 1849: 56
Thalassophis schlegelii SCHMIDT 1852: 83
Hydrophis manilae OWEN 1859: 77 (nom. nud.)
Hydrophis Schlegelii — FISCHER 1856: 50
Hydrophis controversus JAN 1863 (fide SMITH 1926)
Hydrophis longiceps GÜNTHER 1864: 375 (nom. subst. pro Chitulia fasciata)
Distira ornata — WERNER 1895
Distira ornata BOULENGER 1896
Distira cyanosoma WALL 1913: 516
Chitulia ornata — WALL 1921: 369
Hydrophis ornatus inornatus — MITTLEMAN 1947
Hydrophis (Aturia) inornatus — MCDOWELL 1972: 229
Hydrophis inornatus — COGGER 1983: 250
Aturia inornata — WELCH 1994: 25
Hydrophis inornatus — COGGER 2000: 717
Chitulia inornata — KHARIN & DOTSENKO 2012
Hydrophis inornata — SANDERS et al. 2012 (by implication)
Hydrophis inornatus — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 528
Chitulia (Chitulia) inornata — KHARIN 2012
Chitulia inornata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 165
Chitulia inornata — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 278 
DistributionSouth Chinese Sea (Philippines: Panay etc.), China (Tsingtau), Sri Lanka (fide WALL 1921), Indonesia (Java) [Schmidt 1852], Thailand, Australia (Torres Strait)

Type locality: Indian Ocean  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.1.27
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.1.59, from Indian Ocean [Chitulia fasciata].
Syntypes: ZMH 393-395, fide Smith (1926), from Java, Indonesia [Thalassophis schlegelii].
Holotype: Museum Royal College of Surgeons no. 2164, from Manila, Philippines [Hydrophis manilae].
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.1.58, from Manila Bay, Philippines [Distira cyanosoma]. 

Synonymy after COGGER 1983.

Distribution: reports from Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia) are probably misidentifications (Rasmussen et al. 2014).

Habitat: marine.

Type species: Chitulia inornata GRAY 1849 is the type species of the genus Chitulia GRAY 1849.

Key: Kharin & Dotsenko 2012 have a key to the 12 species of Chitulia included by them in the genus.

Nomenclatural history: see KHARIN & DOTSENKO 2012. 
  • 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. 1975. The sea snakes of Australia and New Guinea. pp. 59-139 in Dunson, W. (ed. ) The Biology of Sea Snakes. Baltimore: University Park Press
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • 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
  • Ferner, John W., Rafe M. Brown, Rogelio V. Sison and Robert S. Kennedy 2000. The amphibians and reptiles of Panay Island, Philippines. Asiatic Herpetological Research 9: 1-37 - get paper here
  • Fischer, J.G. 1856. Die Familie der Seeschlangen. Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3: 1-78 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1849. Catalogue of the specimens of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Edward Newman, London, i-xv; 1-125. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Kharin, V.E. 2012. Sea Snakes of the Genus Chitulia Gray, 1849 (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). The Taxonomic Status of Intrageneric Complexes. Russian Journal of Marine Biolog 38 (6): 456-458 - get paper here
  • Kharin, V.E. & Czeblukov, V.P. 2005. On the new record of rare sea snake Chitulia inornata GRAY 1849 (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae) from Australia. Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (2): 118-120 - get paper here
  • Kharin, V.E. & Dotsenko I.B. 2012. The First Record of the Sea Snake Chitulia inornata Gray, 1849 from the Arabian Sea with Notes on the Composition of the Genus Chitulia Gray, 1849 (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). [in Russian and English]. Russian Journal of Marine Biology 38 (1): 35–42 - get paper here
  • Kharin, Vladimir E. and Vladimir P. Czeblukov 2007. On First Reliable Record of the Sea Snake Chitulia belcheri (Gray, 1849) from Australian Waters, with Notes on Species Composition and Taxonomic Status of the Genus Chitulia (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 33 (3): 161–165. - get paper here
  • 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
  • McDowell, S. B. 1972. The genera of sea-snakes of the Hydrophis group (Serpentes: Elapidae). Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond 32: 189-247 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M. B. 1947. Geographic variation in the sea snake, Hydrophis ornatus (Gray). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 60: 1-8 - get paper here
  • Owen, R. 1859. Descriptive Catalogue of the Specimens of Natural History in Spirit Contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. Vertebrata. London: Royal College of Surgeons
  • Porter, Robert; Irwin, Steve; Irwin, Terri;Rodrigues, Keith 1997. Records of marine snake species from the Hey-Embley and Mission Rivers, far North Queensland. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 27 (2): 2-7
  • Rasmussen, A.R. 1994. A cladistic analysis of Hydrophis subgenus Chitulia (McDowell, 1972) (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae). Zoological Journal 111 (2): 161-178 - get paper here
  • Rasmussen,A.R. 1989. An analysis of Hydrophis ornatus (Gray), H. lamberti Smith, and H. inornatus (Gray) (Hydrophiidae, Serpentes) based on samples from various localities, with remarks on feeding and breeding biology of H. ornatus. Amphibia-Reptilia 10: 397-417 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Philipp 1852. Beiträge zur ferneren Kenntniss der Meerschlangen. Abh. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 2 (2): 69-86
  • Smith, M. A. 1926. Monograph on the Sea Snakes. (Hydrophiidae). London: British Museum, xvii + 130 pp.
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - 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, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - get paper here
  • Wall,F. 1913. Some new snakes from the Oriental Region. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 22: 514-516 - 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.
  • Werner,F. 1895. Über eine Sammlung von Reptilien aus Persien, Mesopotamien und Arabien. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 45: 13-22 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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