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Hydrophis annandalei (LAIDLAW, 1901)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Bighead Sea Snake, Annandale’s sea snake 
SynonymDistira annandalei LAIDLAW 1901: 579
Kolpophis annandalei — SMITH 1926: 106
Kolpophis annandalei — SMITH 1943: 467
Lapemis annandalei — RASMUSSEN 1997: 22
Kolpophis annandalei — RASMUSSEN 1997: 23
Kolpophis annandalei — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Kolpophis annandalei — DAVID et al. 2004
Kolpophis annandalei — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Kolpophis annandalei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 352
Hydrophis annandalei — LEVITON et al. 2014
Hydrophis annandalei — LEE et al. 2016 
DistributionIndian Ocean (W Malaysia, S Vietnam, Indonesia: Borneo, Java), Thailand

Type locality: Patani Bay, Thailand  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.17.56 (formerly BMNH 1926.10.18.1), a 500 mm female (N. Annandale, 1899–1900). 
DiagnosisDiagnostic characters: Head shields irregularly divided. Head large, body stout, covered with small irregular scales. Has very high scale row counts around neck (62–82) and body (4–93). Ventrals 320–368. Maxillary teeth behind fangs 6–. Colouration: Body yellowish with pale grey bands above, much broader than their interspaces, narrowing on sides. With age the colour becomes pale grey above, whitish below and the bands disappear. 

Habitat: marine and freshwater (Rasmussen et al. 2001).

Type species: Distira annandalei LAIDLAW 1901: 59 is the type species of the genus Kolpophis SMITH 1926.

Distribution: not in Singapore or not established there (Figueroa et al. 2023). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. "Thomas" Nelson Annandale (1876-1924), zoologist and Superintendent of the Indian Museum, Calcutta. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Das, I. 1993. Annandales’s seasnake, Kolpophis annandalei (Laidlaw 1901): a new record for Borneo. Raffles Bull. Zool. 41: 359-361 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • DAVID, Patrick; MEREL J. COX, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, LAWAN CHANHOME AND KUMTHORN THIRAKHUPT 2004. Book Review - When a bookreview is not sufficient to say all: an in-depth analysis of a recent book on the snakes of Thailand, with an updated checklist of the snakes of the Kingdom. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 4(1): 47-80 - get paper here
  • Laidlaw, F. F 1901. List of a Collection of Snakes, Crocodiles, and Chelonians from the Malay Peninsula, made by members of the "Skeat Expedition," 1899 - 1900. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1901 (2): 575 - 583 - get paper here
  • Lee, Michael S. Y.; Kate L. Sanders, Benedict King, Alessandro Palci 2016. Diversification rates and phenotypic evolution in venomous snakes (Elapidae). R. Soc. open sci., DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150277 - get paper here
  • Leviton, A.E., R.M. Brown, and C.D. Siler. 2014. The dangerously venomous snakes of the Philippine Archipelago. in The Coral Triangle: The 2011 Hearst Biodiversity Philippine Expedition (G.C. Williams and T.M. Gosliner, eds.). California Academy of Sciences, USA, Pp 473–530
  • Murphy,J.C.; Cox,M.J. & Voris,H.K. 1999. A key to the sea snakes in the gulf of Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 47: 95-108
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Rasmussen, A. R., M. AULIYA & W. BÖHME 2001. A new species of sea snake genus Hydrophis (Serpentes: Elapidae) from a river in West Kalimantan (Indonesia, Borneo). Herpetologica 57 (1): 23-32 - get paper here
  • Rasmussen,A.R. 1997. Systematics of sea snakes: a critical review. In: Thorpe,R.S., Wüster,W. & Malhotra,A. (eds.) Venomous snakes - ecology, evolution and snakebite. Clarendon Press (Oxford)/Symp. zool. Soc. Lond. 70: 15-30 - get paper here
  • Smith, M. A. 1926. Monograph on the Sea Snakes. (Hydrophiidae). London: British Museum, xvii + 130 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.
  • Stuebing, R.B. & INGER, R.F. 1999. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo. Natural history Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, 254 pp. [corrections in HR 31: 124]. - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - 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.
  • Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Errol Hooper, Alan E. Leviton, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Illustrated Key to the Snakes of the Philippines. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 66 (1): 1-49 - get paper here
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