The body of H. klossi is olive dorsally and yellowish ventrally, with black rings, which are wider than the interspaces on the dorsum, but narrower on the venter. Head black with yellowish spots.
The type specimen is 90 cm (35 inches) in total length, which includes a tail 7.5 cm (3 inches) long.
Dorsal scales imbricate (overlapping), smooth on the anterior part of the body, keeled on the posterior part, arranged in 33 rows around the thickest part of the body (in 25 rows around the neck). Ventrals 360.
Head small. Body very slender anteriorly. Diameter of eye slightly less than its distance from the mouth. Rostral slightly broader than deep. Frontal very small, as long as broad, less than half as large as the supraocular. One anterior temporal. Five upper labials, fourth (or third and fourth) entering the eye. Two pairs of chin shields, in contact with each other. Ventrals only slightly larger than the contiguous scales.
Etymology and taxonomic history
- "Hydrophis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- "Hydrophis klossi ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
- Boulenger, 1912.
- 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. (Hydrophis klossi, p. 143).
- Boulenger GA. 1912. A Vertebrate Fauna of the Malay Peninsula from the Isthmus of Kra to Singapore including the Adjacent Islands. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Government of the Federated Malay States. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 298 pp. (Hydrophis klossi, new species, p. 190).
- Kharin VE. 2004. ["A review of sea snakes of the genus Hydrophis sensu stricto (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae)"]. [Biologiya Morya] (Vladivostok) 30 (6): 447-454. (in Russian).
- Smith MA. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Hydrophis klossi, pp. 457–458).
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