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Myrrophis chinensis (GRAY, 1842)

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Serpentes (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Chinese Water Snake
G: Chinesische Wassertrugnatter 
SynonymHypsirhina Chinensis GRAY 1842: 66
Hypsirhina sinensis STANLEY 1915
Enhydris chinensis SMITH 1923
Enhydris chinensis — SMITH 1943: 387
Enhydris chinensis – HEATWOLE 1999
Enhydris chinensis — ZIEGLER 2002: 236
Myrrophis chinensis — KUMAR et al. 2012 
DistributionS China (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hainan), N Vietnam

Type locality: China Map legend:
TDWG region - 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.
 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 
CommentThis is a sea snake.

Habitat: marine.

Type species. Myrrophis chinensis Gray is the type species of the genus Myrrophis KUMAR et al. 2012.

Diagnosis (genus). The combination of 21–23 dorsal scale rows at mid body and the internasal not in contact with the loreal, distinguish this genus from all other homalopsids with smooth scales and nasals in contact. All members of the Enhydris clade (chanardi, enhydris, jagorii, innominata, longicauda, subtaeniata) have 21 (rarely 23) dorsal scale rows at mid body, and internasals contacting the loreal. The only other homalopsid with smooth scales in 21 rows with the nasal in contact is E. matannensis from Sulawesi; it has upper labials 4+5 contacting the orbit, a divided internasal, and is in the plumbea clade.

Diagnosis. Dorsal scale rows in 23 rows reduced to 19 or 21 in front of vent; nasal scales small, diameter same or less than diameter of prefrontal; second pair of chin shields large and distinct; upper postocular smaller than lower postocular. Its congener M. bennettii has 21 scale rows at midbody and large nasal scales [KUMAR et al. 2012]. 
EtymologyEtymology: Named after its distribution in the Chinese sea.

Etymology. Derived from the Greek myrr, meaning marsh, and ophis, meaning snake. 
References
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family of Hydridae. The Zoological Miscellany: 59-68. - get paper here
  • Heatwole, H. 1999. Sea snakes, 2nd ed. Krieger, Malabar, 148 pp. [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1136]
  • KARNS, DARYL R.; VIMOKSALEHI LUKOSCHEK; JENNIFER OSTERHAGE; JOHN C. MURPHY & HAROLD K. VORIS 2010. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Enhydris clade (Serpentes: Homalopsidae). Zootaxa 2452: 18–30 [erratum in Zootaxa 2514: 68] - get paper here
  • 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, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
  • Sang, Nguyen Van; Ho Thu Cuc, Nguyen, Quang Truong 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.
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
  • Ziegler, T. 2002. Die Amphibien und Reptilien eines Tieflandfeuchtwald-Schutzgebietes in Vietnam. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 342 pp. - get paper here
 
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