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Hydrophis hendersoni (BOULENGER, 1903)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDistira hendersoni BOULENGER 1903
Hydrophis hendersoni — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011 

Type locality: Rangoon, Burma.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.9 
CommentSynonymy: during most of its history, this species has been considered as a synonym of H. nigrocinctus (e.g. by WALLACH et al. 2014: 240). RASMUSSEN et al. 2011 removed it from the synonymy of H. nigrocinctus.

Hydrophis nigrocinctus and H. hendersoni are readily separated from all other sea snakes: both species have only 0-3 maxillary teeth behind fangs. In the genus Hydrophis, only H. kingii from Australia has the same low number of teeth on the maxillary bone. However, H. kingii has more than 250 vertebrae (H. nigrocinctus and H. hendersoni have between 186-198) and a different colour pattern with spots on the body. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. T. Beath Henderson, of Glasgow, who received received the snake from a friend and then presented it to Boulenger. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1903. Description of a new sea snake from Rangoon. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 14: 719 - get paper here
  • Rasmussen, Arne R.; Ineich, Ivan; Elmberg, Johan; McCarthy, Colin 2011. Status of the Asiatic Sea Snakes of the Hydrophis nigrocinctus group (H. nigrocinctus, H. hendersoni, and H. walli; Elapidae, Hydrophiinae). Amphibia-Reptilia 32 (4): 459-464 - get paper here
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