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Laticauda laticaudata (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Laticaudinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesLaticauda laticaudata affinis (ANDERSON 1871)
Laticauda laticaudata laticaudata (LINNAEUS 1758) 
Common NamesE: Blue-banded Sea Krait, Common sea krait, blue-lipped sea krait
Chinese: 扁尾海蛇 
SynonymColuber laticaudatus LINNAEUS 1758: 222 (part.)
Laticauda scutata LAURENTI 1768: 109
Platurus laurenti RAFINESQUE 1817: 432 (non Platurus laurenti DAUDIN 1803)
Platurus laticaudatus — GIRARD 1858: 180
Platurus fischeri JAN 1859: 149
Platurus fischeri — ANDERSON 1871: 189
Platurus muelleri BOULENGER 1896: 309
Platurus laticaudatus — WALL 1906: 57
Platurus laticaudatus — WALL 1909: 185
Laticauda laticaudata — STEJNEGER 1907: 402
Laticauda laticaudata — COGGER 1983: 258
Laticauda laticaudata — WELCH 1994: 71
Laticauda laticaudata — COGGER 2000: 724
Laticauda laticaudata — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Laticauda laticaudata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 364
Laticauda laticaudata — WANG et al. 2022

Laticauda laticaudata affinis (ANDERSON 1871)
Platurus affinis ANDERSON 1871: 190
Laticauda laticaudata affinis — MAKI 1931
Laticauda laticaudata affinis — DAS 1998: 153

Laticauda laticaudata laticaudata (LINNAEUS 1758)
Coluber laticaudatus LINNAEUS 1758
Platurus laticaudatus — BOULENGER 1896 
DistributionIndian Ocean (E India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, Indonesia (Borneo), Philippines: Cebu)
coasts of Fujian and Taiwan (China), Andaman Islands,
Bay of Bengal
coasts of Malaysian Peninsula and Indoaustralian Archiipelago to Papua New Guinea,
Japan, South Korea, Pacific Ocean, Polynesia, Melanesia, Solomon Islands [McCoy 2000], New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji
Australia (Queensland)

Type locality: “Indiis”  
TypesSyntype: NRM (NHRM), from "Indiis", fide Andersson (1899); (formerly #87, Museum Regis Adelphi Friderici), from "Indiis", fide Andersson (1899); second syntype, #88, represents Laticauda colubrina, fide Cogger & Heatwole (2006)
Syntypes: MSNM (not found), MNHP (not found), from Indian Ocean [Platurus fischeri]
Holotype: ZSI 8289 (also as IM 8289), from Tolly's Nullah (as Fallah's Nullah), a tidal stream, Calcutta, India, see Smith (1926) [affinis]
Holotype: unknown; from South Pacific [muelleri]. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Ventrals large, one-third to more than one half the width of the body; nostrils lateral; nasals separated by internasals; 19 longitudinal rows of imbricate scales at midbody; no azygous prefrontal shield; rostral undivided; ventrals 225–243; subcaudals: males 38–47, females 30–35 (ventral and subcaudal counts after Smith 1943:443). Upper lip dark brown. Total length: males 910 mm, females 1070 mm; tail length: males 110 mm, females 110 mm. [after LEVITON 2003] 

Synonymy mostly after COGGER 1983. Laticauda laticaudata wolffi (VOLSØE 1956) is now considered as a synonym of L. crockeri. Smith (1926) regards P. laurenti as a substitute name, but there is no indication of this in the original description, nor does Smith indicate the name being substituted (fide COGGER 1983). The validity of L. l. affinis has been considered doubtful (Stejneger 1907; McCarthy 1986) and most recent authors don’t seem to recognize subspecies.

Type species: Coluber laticaudatus LINNAEUS 1758 or Laticauda scutata LAURENTI 1768 is the type species of the genus Laticauda LAURENTI 1768.

Key: see Heatwole et al. 2005: 98 for a key to the species of Laticauda.

Sexual dimorphism: see Heatwole et al. 2005: 106 for a discussion of sexual dimorphism in Laticauda.

Habitat: marine.

Distribution: See map in Gherghel et al. 2016, Heatwole et al. 2017, Kishida et al. 2020. 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin latus (broad) plus caudata (tailed), in reference to the flattened tail of this and other laticaudids. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
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