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Myrrophis bennettii (GRAY, 1842)

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesBennett's Mud Snake 
SynonymHypsirhina Bennettii GRAY 1842: 67
Hypsirhina maculata DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 950
Hypsirhina Bennettii — GÜNTHER 1864: 283
Hypsirhina bennettii — BOULENGER 1896: 8
Enhydris bennettii — STEJNEGER 1907: 302
Enhydris bennettii — SMITH 1943: 386
Enhydris bennettii — HEATWOLE 1999
Enhydris bennettii — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Myrrophis bennettii — KUMAR et al. 2012
Myrrophis bennettii — MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 30
Myrrophis bennettii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 467 
DistributionSE China (Hianan, Guangdong, Fujian, Hong Kong), Vietnam,
Indonesia (Java), Taiwan

Type locality: "China."  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.2.49, male (G. Bennett). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Dorsal scales in 21 rows reduced to 17 in front of the vent. Nasal scales with a diameter greater than diameter of prefrontal; second pair of chin shields barely distinguishable from gulars; upper postocular larger than lower postocular. Its congener M. chinensis has 23 scale rows at midbody and small nasal scales [KUMAR et al. 2012]. See MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 30 for an updated diagnosis. See MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 30 for an alternative diagnosis. 
CommentSynonymy: Hypsirhina maculata is listed as synonym of Enhydris bennettii by STEJNEGER 1907. This is a saltwater-tolerant species, and thus a “sea snake”.

Habitat: partly marine; terrestrial-brackish water.

Diet: fish 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family of Hydridae. Zoological Miscellany 2: 59-68. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Heatwole, H. 1999. Sea snakes, 2nd ed. Krieger, Malabar, 148 pp. [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1136]
  • Kumar, A. Biju; Kate L. Sanders , Sanil George & John C. Murphy 2012. The status of Eurostus dussumierii and Hypsirhina chinensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes): with comments on the origin of salt tolerance in homalopsid snakes. Systematics and Biodiversity 10 (4): 479-489 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. FIELDIANA: LIFE AND EARTH SCIENCES (8): 1–43 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • 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.
  • Stejneger, L. 1910. The batrachians and reptiles of Formosa. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 38: 91-114 - get paper here
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Valencia, J. H., K. Garzón-Tello & M. E. Barragán-Paladines 2016. Serpientes venenosas del Ecuador: sistemática, taxonomía, historia natural, conservación, envenenamiento y aspectos antropológicos. Quito, Ecuador, Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés, Universidad de Texas, Fondo Ambiental Nacional, 652 pp. [review in HR 49 (1): 152, 2018]
  • 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.
  • 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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