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Hydrophis jerdonii (GRAY, 1849)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesHydrophis jerdonii jerdonii (GRAY 1849)
Hydrophis jerdonii siamensis (SMITH 1917) 
Common NamesE: Saddle-backed sea snake, Jerdon's Sea Snake
Chinese: 截吻海蛇 
SynonymKerilia Jerdonii GRAY 1849: 57
Hydrophis jerdonii — ANDERSON 1871: 190
Distira jerdonii BOULENGER 1896
Hydrophis jerdonii — BOULENGER 1912: 186
Kerilia jerdonii — WALL 1921: 386
Kerilia jerdonii — SMITH 1943: 447
Kerilia jerdoni — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Kerilia jerdonii — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Hydrophis jerdonii — SANDERS et al. 2012
Kerilia jerdonii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 353
Kerilia jerdonii — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 267

Kerilia jerdonii siamensis SMITH 1917
Hydrophis siamensis SMITH 1917: 341
Kerilia jerdoni siamensis SMITH 1926: 32
Kerilia jerdonii siamensis — KHARIN 2005
Kerilia jerdonii siamensis — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Hydrophis jerdonii siamensis — SANDERS et al. 2012 (by implication) 
DistributionIndian Ocean (Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar (= Burma), Mergui Archipelago)
Coast of Taiwan (China), South China Sea
Bay of Bengal (to Sri Lanka Lanka)
Along coasts of W Malaysia to Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Siam, Indonesia (Borneo)

jerdoni: India, Sri Lanka, Andaman Sea, and from Strait of Malacca to Singapore

siamensis: Vietnam, from East Malaysia, Gulf of Thailand to China and Taiwan.

Type locality: Madras, India  
TypesHolotype: BMNH III.8.1.a
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.3.78, collected by M.A. Smith, 1917 [siamensis] 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS (DIAGNOSIS).— Body subcylindrical, nearly uniform diameter throughout; scales keeled and imbricate, in 17–23 longitudinal rows, 17 on neck, 21–23 (19–21 for the Bay of Bengal) at midbody; head short; pre-frontals usually not in contact with upper labials; 6 upper labials, 3–4 bordering eye; 1 pre- and 1 postocular; 1 large anterior temporal; ventrals 225–253 for the Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Siam (247–278 further east), small, distinct throughout, usually entire; olive above, yellowish or white below, with black dorsal spots of crossbars that form complete bands, especially in young. Total length 1000 mm, tail length 100 mm. [after LEVITON 2003] 

History: Smith described siamensis twice as new; in 1917 as a species and in 1926 as subspecies (see synonymy).

Subspecies: The status of the two subspecies is questioned by several authors (see Rasmussen & Andersen 1990)

Type species: This species is the type species of the genus Kerilia Gray, 1849.

Habitat: marine. 
EtymologyNamed after Thomas Claverhill Jerdon (1811-1872), British physician, zoologist, and botanist who became an Assistant Surgeon in the East India Company. 
  • Anderson, J. 1871. On some Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1871: 149-211 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • 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
  • 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. 1849. Catalogue of the specimens of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Edward Newman, London, i-xv; 1-125. - get paper here
  • 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, 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, A.E., R.M. Brown, and C.D. Siler. 2014. The dangerously venomous snakes of the Philippine Archipelago. in The Coral Triangle: The 2011 Hearst Biodiversity Philippine Expedition (G.C. Williams and T.M. Gosliner, eds.). California Academy of Sciences, USA, Pp 473–530
  • 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.
  • 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,A.R. & Andersen,M. 1990. The sea snake Kerilia jerdoni Gray (1849): First records from Andaman Sea, Phuket Island, Thailand, with remarks on the two subspecies. The Snake 22: 131-133
  • 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
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1917. Preliminary diagnoses of four new sea snakes. J. Nat. Hist. Soc. Siam 2: 340 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Somaweera, R. & N. Somaweera 2009. An overview of Sri Lankan Sea snakes with an annotated checklist and a field key. Taprobanica 1 (1): 43-54
  • 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].
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - 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.
  • Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Errol Hooper, Alan E. Leviton, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Illustrated Key to the Snakes of the Philippines. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 66 (1): 1-49 - get paper here
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
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