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The Spine-bellied Sea snake, or Hardwicke's Spine-bellied Sea snake, (Lapemis hardwickii) is a species of sea snake.

DescriptionEdit

  • Body short, stout, neck region not less than half as thick at midbody;
  • head large; scales squarish or hexagonal, juxtaposed, outer 3-4 rows larger than others, scale rows: males 23-31 around neck, females 27-35, around midbody, males 25-27, females 33-41;
  • ventrals small, usually distinct anteriorly, not so posteriorly, in males 114-186, in females 141-230; head shields entire, parietals occasionally divided;
  • nostrils superior, nasals in contact with one another;
  • prefrontal usually in contact with second upper labial;
  • 7-8 upper labials, 3-4 bordering eye; 1 pre- and 1-2 postoculars; 2, rarely 3, anterior temporals; greenish or yellow- olive above, whitish below, 35-50 olive to dark gray dorsal bars, tapering to a point laterally, occasionally encircling body, a narrow dark ventral stripe or broad irregular band occasionally present;
  • adults often lack any pattern and are uniform olive to dark gray;
  • head pale olive to black, yellow markings on snout present or not. Total length 860 mm (2' 4"), tail length 85 mm (3.3").

DistributionEdit

This species is located in warm waters:

hardwickii: Burma, southeast coast of India and the Straits of Malacca, east to Australia and north to China, Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. [1]

NotesEdit

  1. Leviton et al. 2003

ReferencesEdit

  • Gray. J. E.; 1835 Illustrations of Indian Zoology, chiefly selected from the collection of Major - General Hardwicke. Vol. 2. London (1833-1834): 263 pp., 95 plates
  • Gray, J. E.; 1843 "Description of two new species of reptiles from the collection made during the voyages of H.M.S. Sulphur." Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (1) 11: 46
  • Gritis, P. & VORIS H. K.; 1990 "Variability and significance of parietal and ventral scales in the marine snakes of the genus Lapemis (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae), with comments on the occurrence of spiny scales in the genus." Fieldiana Zool. n.s. (56): i-iii + 1-13.Template:Elapidae-stub

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