Species of Thailand

Spiny-headed sea snake

Hydrophis peronii, André Marie Constant Duméril, 1853

(In Thai: งูทากลายท้องขาว, ngu taak lai thong khao)

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)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Photos

No photo for this species yet

Range Map

We have created a micro website to show daily statistics over snake observation logs collected from a few Facebook groups. It is possible to see some detailed statistics and download data free for research or any other purpose. Follow this link to open the site.