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An analysis of Hydrophis ornatus (Gray), H. lamberti Smith, and H. inornatus (Gray) (Hydrophiidae, Serpentes) based on samples from various localities, with remarks on feeding and breeding biology of H. ornatus

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Hydrophis ornatus (Gray) is described from Phuket Island, Andaman Sea, Siam Gulf, and the Philippine Islands, with remarks on feeding and breeding biology. Hydrophis lamberti Smith, is recognised as a distinct species and described from type locality (Bight of Bangkok), Siam Gulf, and the Philippine Islands. The type specimen of Hydrophis inornatus was reexamined. The results showed certain similarities between H. ornatus and the type specimen of H. inornatus, however, in the present paper the type specimen is maintained as a distinct species. Position of internal organs, in relation to number of vertebrae and ventral scales, is used as a new method for identifying sea snakes. Furthermore the number of vertebrae appeared to be a useful character to distinguish between H. ornatus and H. lamberti.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Museum. University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100. Copenhagen , Denmark


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