Ephalophis greyae SMITH, 1931
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Ephalophis greyae?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: North-western Mangrove Seasnake|
|Synonym||Ephalophis greyi SMITH 1931: 397|
Ephalophis greyi — SMITH 1974: 108
Ephalophis greyi — COGGER 1983: 248
Ephalophis greyi — WELCH 1994: 63
Ephalophis greyae — SHEA 1996
Ephalophis greyae — COGGER 2000: 711
Ephalophis greyi — KHARIN 2005
Ephalophis greyae — SANDERS et al. 2012
Ephalophis greyae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 275
|Distribution||Australia (Northern Territory?, Western Australia)|
Type locality: Cape Boileau, W. A.
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19126.96.36.199|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Distinguished from Aipysurus duboisii (the other species of sea snake with 19 scale rows and broad ventrals) by its smooth symmetrical head shields and from Hydrelaps darwiniensis (the other small, greyish dark banded species) by presence of a preocular. (Smith 1974)|
Description: A small sea snake (up to 661 mm). Body slightly tenuous anteriorly. Head small, canthus rostralis discernible but not prominent. Tail downcurved.
Rostral as wide as, or slightly wider than the frontal, which is 1.5 to 2 times as long as wide, and always wider than a supraocular. Preocular 1; postocular 1. Temporals: 1 anterior and 2 posterior (3 on one side once). Upper labials 6, second in contact with preocular, third and fourth entering orbit. Lower labials 7 (once 6), the fourth largest. Two pairs of chin shields prominent, in contact, posterior pair (the longer) almost separated by a small scale.
Midbody scale rows 19 (once 21), scales on the lower 4-6 rows on the flanks hexagonal, juxtaposed and smooth. Remaining dorsals imbricate, bluntly keeled, often with darker edgings. Ventrals 151-184 at midbody, at least 3 times as wide as adjacent dorsals; narrower anteriorly. Subcaudals 24-33 (males 27-33, females 24-27). (Smith 1974)
Coloration: Ground colour of adults grey with 27-30 dark grey to black incomplete bands (broken at ventrals), widest on back, their boundaries sometimes indistinct, and often confluent, and forming a zig-zag pattern down the back. In some specimens bands are faded mid-laterally leaving a dorsal bar and a spot on the lower flanks.
Ground colour of juveniles almost white or light grey with dark bands much more conspicuous. Ventrals light grey. Subadults with head mottled light and dark grey, the light grey remaining as a pale mark on posterior edge of upper and lower labials. (Smith 1974)
Type species: Ephalophis greyi SMITH 1931: 397 is the type species of the genus Ephalophis SMITH 1931.
|Etymology||Named after Mrs. Beatrice Grey. Shea (1996) notes that the specifc name of the only species of the genus should be spelled greyae, not greyi. Since the species had been named in honour of a woman, the specific name must bear the feminine ending.|