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AROD > Reptiles / Squamata / Hydrophiidae

True sea snakes
Hydrophiidae

Etymology: 'Water snake'
Notes: These are the 'true' sea snakes. They spend their entire lives at sea, eating, mating and giving birth in the water. It has become clear in recent years that the Australasian terrestrial Elapidae and the aquatic Hydrophiidae are closely related. Some scientists position the Australasian Elapid snakes as a subfamily (Elapinae) within Hydrophiidae.

The following species are no longer regarded as occurring in Australian waters (Rasmussen, Sanders, Guinea & Amey 2014):
Hydrophis inornatus
Hydrophis melanosoma

The following species do not have profiles on AROD as their presence in Australian waters has not been confirmed (Rasmussen, Sanders, Guinea & Amey 2014):
Hydrophis laboutei Rasmussen and Ineich, 2000
Hydrophis vorisi Kharin, 1984
Microcephalophis gracilis (Shaw, 1802)
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Live-bearing - 29 out of 29 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: northern mangrove snake (Parahydrophis mertoni) at 50 cm
Longest Australian species: olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis) at up to 200 cm
Number of Australian genera: 12
Number of Australian species: 29
Genera:
Genus name Australian species
Acalyptophis 1
Aipysurus 8
Astrotia 1
Disteira 2
Emydocephalus 1
Enhydrina 1
Ephalophis 1
Hydrelaps 1
Hydrophis 10
Lapemis 1
Parahydrophis 1
Pelamis 1
12 29
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