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Hydrophis klossi BOULENGER, 1912

IUCN Red List - Hydrophis klossi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Kloss' Sea Snake 
SynonymHydrophis klossi BOULENGER 1912: 190
Hydrophis klossi — SMITH 1943: 457
Hydrophis klossi — MURPHY, COX & VORIS 1999
Hydrophis (Mediohydrophis) klossi — KHARIN 2004
Hydrophis klossi — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Mediohydrophis klossi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 430 
DistributionIndian Ocean, W Malaysia, Thailand (incl. Phuket), Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo)

Type locality: "Thuala, Selangor, Malay Peninsula."  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.8 (orig. 1920.6.3.7), a 900 mm female (Selangor Mus.). 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. Head small, body anteriorly slender, posteriorly two to three times diameter of neck, compressed; 5–6 maxillary teeth behind venom fangs; scale rows on neck 23–25 (27), at midbody 31–37 (39); ventrals distinct throughout, 360–413, less than twice as broad as adjacent body scalers; precloacal scales enlarged; Head dark olive to dark brown, sometimes with elongate whitish spots or indistinct horseshoe shaped marking; body above grey with 50–75 dark bands that encircle body, broadest above and broader than interspaces; below, underside of head dark and anterior portion of body dark, posteriorly sides of body and belly yellowish-white, posteriorly, greyish; tip of tail black. (After Smith 1926:68 and Stuebing and Inger 1999:210, Leviton et al. 2014: 507).

Diagnostic characters: Head small. Body slender anteriorly. Scale rows around neck 22–25, rarely 2; scale rows around body 30–3, rarely 39; ventrals 360–415. Maxillary teeth behind fangs 5–6. Colouration: Body grey- ish yellow with 50–5 dark or black bands, which are broader than their interspaces dorsally. Head greyish black, sometimes with an indistinct pale horseshoe-shaped mark above. 

Habitat: marine. 
EtymologyNamed after Cecil Boden Kloss (1877-1949), director of the Raffles Museum in Singapore from 1923 to 1932. 
  • 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. 1912. A vertebrate fauna of the Malay Peninsula from the Isthmus of Kra to Singapore incl. the adjacent islands. Reptilia and Amphibia. London (Taylor & Francis), xiii + 298 S. - 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
  • Kharin, V. E. 2006. An Annotated Checklist of Sea Snakes of Vietnam, with Notes on a New Record of the Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait, Laticauda colubrina (Schneider, 1799)(Laticaudidae, Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 32 (4): 223–228. - get paper here
  • Kharin, V.E. 2004. Review of Sea Snakes of the genus Hydrophis sensu stricto (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 30 (6): 387-394 - get paper here
  • Kharin, V.E. 2004. A review of sea snakes of the genus Hydrophis sensu stricto (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae). [in Russian]. Biologiya Morya (Vladivostok) 30 (6): 447-454 - 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
  • RASMUSSEN, ARNE REDSTED; JOHAN ELMBERG, PETER GRAVLUND & IVAN INEICH 2011. Sea snakes (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) in Vietnam: a comprehensive checklist and an updated identification key. Zootaxa 2894: 1–20 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Trutnau,L. 1986. Einige vorläufige Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna der südthailändischen Insel Phuket. Herpetofauna 8 (43): 17-27 - get paper here
  • VORIS, HAROLD K. 2017. Diversity of Marine Snakes on Trawling Grounds in the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. Tropical Natural History 17 (2): 65–87 - 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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