Hydrophis pacificus BOULENGER, 1896
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hydrophis pacificus?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||Pacific seasnake|
|Synonym||Hydrophis pacificus BOULENGER 1896: 278|
Distira macfarlani BOULENGER 1896: 294
Hydrophis (Leioselasma) pacifucus — MCDOWELL 1972
Hydrophis pacificus — COGGER 1983: 253
Leioselasma pacificus - KHARIN 1984
Leioselasma pacifica — WELCH 1994: 71
Hydrophis pacificus — COGGER 2000: 719
Leioselasma pacifica — KHARIN 2005
Hydropis pacificus — LUKOSCHEK et al. 2006
Hydrophis pacificus — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 530
Hydrophis pacificus — SANDERS et al. 2013 [by implication]
Leioselasma pacifica — WALLACH et al. 2014: 367
|Distribution||Indonesian Sea (New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago), Gilbert Islands,|
Australia (North Territory, Queensland)
Type locality: New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Map legend:
- Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.
NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19188.8.131.52|
Syntypes: BMNH 19184.108.40.206-93, from Murray Is., Torres Strait, Qld. [Distira macfarlani].
L. pacificus was introduced into the synonymy of L. cyanocincta, then it was considered as a junior synonym for C. belcheri and L. elegans.
Diagnosis: From other species of the genus L. pacifica (= H. pacificus) is well distinguished by the minimum number of teeth on the pterygoideum (7–9 as opposed to 13–18), from L. cyanocincta it also differs by the structure of the body scales (in L. cyanocincta the scales are provided with a keel bearing two dents; in L. pacifica the scales are smooth or with a poorly pronounced keel lacking dents). L. pacifica differs from L. elegans in the smaller number of ventrals (326–329 as opposed to 345–432: our materials, 34 specimens, and data from the literature, Smith 1926, 20 specimens, and Cogger 1975, 82 specimens) and the contact between three supralabials and the eye (in L. elegans only two supralabials are in contact with the eye). Some authors believe that 5 specimens of sea snakes found in the shelf of northern Australia actually belong to Hydrophis (Leioselasma) pacificus. However, judging from the description (the presence of two rows of black spots and a great number of scales around the middle of the body, namely 45–49 as opposed to 37), these snakes should be referred to as the species L. czeblukovi Kharin, 1984 described from the Arafura Sea. Some authors referred to Distura macfarlani from the coast of Murray Island as L. pacifica ; however an examination of a syntype of the latter species (BMNH 19220.127.116.11) showed that it is entirely conspecific with L. elegans [after KHARIN 2005].
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