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Hydrophis kingii BOULENGER, 1896

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis kingii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Spectacled or King’s seasnake 
SynonymDisteira doliata GRAY in KING 1827: 432 (non LACÉPÈDE)
Hydrophis kingii BOULENGER 1896: 276
Hydrophis kingii — SMITH 1974: 104
Disteira kingii — COGGER 1983: 245
Disteira kingii — WELCH 1994: 55
Hydrophis kingii — RASMUSSEN 1997: 22
Disteira kingii — COGGER 2000: 707
Disteira kingii — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 52
Hydrophis kingii — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Hydrophis kingii — SANDERS et al. 2012 (by implication)
Disteira kingii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 240 
DistributionS Papua New Guinea
Australia (New South Wales?, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)

Type locality: N. Australia.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.10 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Maxillare teeth II + 2 – 4, palatinum 9, pterygoideum 14, dentale 15 – 22. Diameter of the eye more than its distance from the mouth. 1 preocular, 2 postoculars and 2 anterior temporals. 7 – supralabi- als: third and fourth touching the eye. – 9 infralabials: four infralabials in contact with the sublinguals, both pairs of which are well developed. Anterior chin shields large and mostly bordering the mental groove. A series of cuneates at the oral margin after the second or third infralabial. Scale rows around neck 25 – 29, scale rows around midbody 36 – 40. The scales distinctly imbricate and keeled. Ventrals 311 – 360. [KHARIN 2009].

See also description in Smith 1974. 

Synonymy after COGGER 193.

Habitat: marine. 
Etymologynamed after Captain and Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856), Australian-born British marine surveyor and collector. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 1975. The sea snakes of Australia and New Guinea. pp. 59-139 in Dunson, W. (ed. ) The Biology of Sea Snakes. Baltimore: University Park Press
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • King, P.P. 1827. Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia, vol. 2. John Murray, London - get paper here
  • McDowell, S. B. 1972. The genera of sea-snakes of the Hydrophis group (Serpentes: Elapidae). Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond 32: 189-247 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • Porter, Robert; Irwin, Steve; Irwin, Terri;Rodrigues, Keith 1997. Records of marine snake species from the Hey-Embley and Mission Rivers, far North Queensland. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 27 (2): 2-7
  • Rasmussen, A. R. & I. INEICH 2000. Sea snakes of New Caledonia and surrounding waters (Serpentes: Elapidae): first report on the occurence of Lapemis curtus and description of new species from the genus Hydrophis. Hamadryad 25 (2): 91-99 - get paper here
  • RASMUSSEN, ARNE REDSTED; KATE LAURA SANDERS, MICHAEL L. GUINEA & ANDREW P. AMEY 2014. Sea snakes in Australian waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae)—a review with an updated identification key. Zootaxa 3869 (4): 351–371 - 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
  • Redfield, J. A., Holmes, J. C. & Holmes, R. D. 1978. Sea snakes of the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria. Aust. J Mar. Freshwat. Res. 29: 325-334 - get paper here
  • Sanders, K.L.; Michael S.Y. Lee, Mumpuni, Terry Bertozzi, Arne R. Rasmussen 2012. Multilocus phylogeny and recent rapid radiation of the viviparous sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 (3): 575-591 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - get paper here
  • Smith, L. A. 1974. The sea snakes of Western Australia (Serpentes: Elapidae: Hydrophiinae) with a description of a new subspecies. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 3: 93-110 - get paper here
  • Smith, M. A. 1926. Monograph on the Sea Snakes. (Hydrophiidae). London: British Museum, xvii + 130 pp.
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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