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Myrrophis bennettii (GRAY, 1842)

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Bennett's Mud Snake
Chinese: 黑斑水蛇 
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."  
Reproductionviviparous 
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 
Etymology 
References
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - 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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