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Hydrophis lamberti SMITH, 1917

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis lamberti - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Lambert's Sea Snake 
SynonymHydrophis lamberti SMITH 1917: 340
Hydrophis ornatus SMITH 1926 (part.)
Hydrophis lapemoides — TAMIYA et al. 1983
Hydrophis lamberti — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Chitulia lamberti — KHARIN 2005
Hydrophis lamberti — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Hydrophis lamberti — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Chitulia lamberti — KHARIN & DOTSENKO 2012
Hydrophis lamberti — SANDERS et al. 2012
Chitulia (Chitulia) lamberti — KHARIN 2012
Chitulia lamberti — WALLACH et al. 2014: 165
Chitulia lamberti — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 279 
DistributionPhilippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand

Type locality: mouth of the Mekong River.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.9.20, earlier referred to as 1921.2.11.13 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. Head large, robust; 9–12 maxillary teeth behind front fangs; scale rows on neck 37-45 (males 38-42, females 37-45), on body 45-56 (males 45-52, females 49-56), ventrals distinct throughout, anteriorly about twice as broad as adjacent scales (males 258-395, females 237-306), subcaudals 34-50 (males 37-50, females 34–44); color, head greyish or brown above, whitish below; body with large oval-shaped bands anteriorly, replaced by cross-bands with broad interspaces posteriorly, dark bands both widest and darkest dorsally, lighter and narrower laterally; on tail,greyish black bands and broad whitish interspaces (4-6 in males, 5-6 in females). After Rasmussen 1989: 411 and Leviton et al. 2014: 508).

Diagnostic characters: Scale rows around neck 3–45; scale rows around body 45–56; ventrals 258–306. Maxillary teeth behind fangs 9–12. Colouration: Body whitish or pale grey above, paler below. Large rounded dorsal bands anteriorly, posteriorly gradually becoming narrower and separated by broader interspaces. Bands broader above, narrow and faintly coloured laterally. 

Habitat: marine.

Synonymy: Has been included in H. ornatus by some authors (e. g. Smith, 1926), but is very distinct in its colour pattern. 
EtymologyUnknown. Gray did not provide any details on the origin of this name. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • 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
  • DAVID, Patrick; MEREL J. COX, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, LAWAN CHANHOME AND KUMTHORN THIRAKHUPT 2004. Book Review - When a bookreview is not sufficient to say all: an in-depth analysis of a recent book on the snakes of Thailand, with an updated checklist of the snakes of the Kingdom. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 4(1): 47-80 - 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. - 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. & 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
  • 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
  • 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. 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
  • 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1917. Preliminary diagnoses of four new sea snakes. J. Nat. Hist. Soc. Siam 2: 340 - 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
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