Hydrophis peronii

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Hydrophis peronii
Acalyptus superciliosus.jpg
By Ferdinando Sordelli in Jan & Sordelli, 1860
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Subfamily: Hydrophiinae
Genus: Hydrophis
Species: H. peronii
Binomial name
Hydrophis peronii
  • Acalyptus Peronii
    A.M.C. Duméril, 1853
  • Acalyptus superciliosus vel Peroni
    A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron, & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854
  • Acalyptus superciliosus
    Fischer, 1856
  • Acalyptophis peronii
    Boulenger, 1896
  • Pseudodisteira horrida
    Kinghorn, 1926
  • Hydrophis peronii
    Sanders et al., 2012[3]

Hydrophis peronii, commonly known as the spiny-headed seasnake, Peron's sea snake, or the horned sea snake,[1] endemic to the western tropical Pacific Ocean.[4] It is the only sea snake with spines on the head. Like other members of the family, Hydrophiidae or Elapidae, it is venomous.[3] It is sometimes placed in its own genus Acalyptophis.


The specific name, peronii, is in honor of François Péron, a French naturalist and explorer.[5]


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.[4] The head is small and the tail flattened laterally. The supraoculars are raised, and their free borders are pointed.[4] This species reaches a snout-vent length of up to 1.23 m (4.0 ft).[6] 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.[4]

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in the Gulf of Siam, Thailand,[7] 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,[8] and Australia, (North Territory, Queensland, West Australia, & possibly New South Wales).[6]


It prefers seas with sandy beds and coral reefs.


Diet includes small fish.[6]


It is a viviparous species that produces up to 10 live young per female.[6]


  1. ^ a b Lukoschek V, Rasmussen A, Sanders K, Lobo A, Courtney T (2010). "Acalyptophis peronii". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T176756A7298218. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T176756A7298218.en. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Acalyptophis peronii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  3. ^ a b Hydrophis peronii at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database
  4. ^ a b c d Boulenger GA. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ), ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Acalyptophis peronii, pp. 269-270).
  5. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Acalyptophis peronii, p. 203).
  6. ^ a b c d "Acalyptophis peronii — Horned Seasnake". Species Profile and Threats Database. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberrra. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  7. ^ Cox MJ. 1991. The Snakes of Thailand and their Husbandry. Malabar, Florida: Krieger. 564 pp. ISBN 978-0894644375.
  8. ^ Brongersma LD. 1956. Notes on New Guinean reptiles and amphibians V. Proceedings Nederlandse Akademe Wetenschappen 59C :599-610.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bauer AM, Sadlier RA. (Editors). 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17. Ithaca, New York: Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles.
  • Bauer AM, Vindum JV. 1990. A checklist and key to the herpetofauna of New Caledonia, with remarks on biogeography. Proc. California Acad. Sci. 47 (2): 17-45.
  • Cogger HG. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Sixth Edition. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Publishing. 808 pp. ISBN 978-1876334338.
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Nabhitabhata, Jaruji; Thirakhupt, Kumthorn. 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Publishing. 144 pp. ISBN 978-1853684388.
  • Duméril A-M-C, Bibron G, Duméril A[-H-A]. 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris: Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret. xii + pp. 781–1536. ("Acalyptus superciliosus vel Peroni ", p. 1340).
  • Duméril [AMC]. 1853. "Prodrome de la classification des reptiles ophidiens". Mém. Acad. Sci., Paris 23: 399-536. ("Acalyptus Peronii ", new species, p. 522).
  • Fischer JG. 1856. "Die Familie der Seeschlangen". Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3: 1-78.
  • Murphy JC, Cox MJ, Voris HK. 1999. A key to the sea snakes in the gulf of Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 47: 95-108.
  • Smith MA. 1926. Monograph of the sea-snakes (Hydrophiidae). London: British Museum (Natural History). 130 pp.
  • Storr GM, Smith LA, Johnstone RE. 2002. Snakes of Western Australia. Perth, Western Australia: Western Australian Museum. p. 309.
  • Taylor EH. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096.
  • Zhao E, Adler K. 1993. Herpetology of China. Oxford, Ohio: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). 522 pp.