Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Spiny-headed sea snake

In Thai: งูทากลายท้องขาว, ngu taak lai thong khao

Binomial name: Hydrophis peronii, André Marie Constant Duméril, 1853

Acalyptophis peronii, commonly known as the spiny-headed seasnake, Peron's sea snake, or the horned sea snake, is a species of sea snake endemic to the western tropical Pacific Ocean. It is the only sea snake with spines on the head. Like other members of the family, Hydrophiidae or Elapidae, it is venomous.

Etymology

The specific name, peronii, is in honor of François Péron, a French naturalist and explorer.

Description

The spiny-headed seasnake is a medium-size snake, with the diameter of the neck only one third to two fifths the diameter of the thickest part of the body. The head is small and the tail flattened laterally. The supraoculars are raised, and their free borders are pointed. This species reaches a snout-vent length of little more than one meter (39 inches). Dorsally, it is grayish, pale olive, or tan, with dark crossbands, which are narrower than the spaces between them and taper to a point on the sides of the belly. Ventrally, it is uniform whitish or with a series of dark crossbars alternating with spots.

Geographic range

Acalyptophis peronii is found in the Gulf of Siam, Thailand, Vietnam, the South China Sea, the coast of Guangdong and Strait of Taiwan,

the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Coral Sea Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, (North Territory, Queensland, West Australia, & possibly New South Wales).

Habitat

It prefers seas with sandy beds and coral reefs.

Diet

Diet includes small fish.

Reproduction

It is a viviparous species that produces up to 10 live young per female.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Subphylum
Vertebrata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Elapidae
Genus
Hydrophis
Species
Hydrophis peronii

Common names

  • English:
    • Spiny-headed sea snake
    • Peron's sea snake
    • Horned sea snake
  • Thai: งูทากลายท้องขาว, ngu taak lai thong khao

Synonyms

  • Acalyptophis peronii, Tanya Chan-Ard et al. (2015)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, Harold Cogger (2014)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Hydrophis peronii, Kate Laura Sanders et al. (2012)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, S. Wilson & G. Swan (2010)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, Harold Cogger (2000)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, John C. Murphy & Merel J. Cox & Harold K. Voris (1999)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Acalyptophis peroni, Keith A. Harding & Kenneth R. G. Welch (1980)
  • Pseudodisteira horrida, James Roy Kinghorn (1926)
  • Acalyptophis peronii, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Acalyptus superciliosus, Johann Gustav Fischer (1856)
  • Acalyptus superciliosus vel Peroni, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Acalyptus superciliosus vel peroni, André Marie Constant Duméril, Gabriel Bibron & Auguste Duméril (1854)
  • Acalyptus peronii, André Marie Constant Duméril (1853)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Photos

No photo for this species yet

Range Map