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Hydrophis spiralis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ELAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Hydrophis spiralis
Species Authority: (Shaw, 1802)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Sea Snake
French Hydrophide-spirale
Synonym(s):
Hydrus spiralis Shaw, 1802
Leioselasma spiralis (Shaw, 1802)
Taxonomic Notes: This species has also been treated under the genus Leioselasma.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-15
Assessor(s): Rasmussen, A., Sanders, K., Lobo, A. & Gatus, J.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S.R., Elfes, C.T., Polidoro, B.A. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
This species has a wide distribution and is common in some areas. It is captured as bycatch in trawl fisheries, but is it unknown if this is a major threat. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Arabian Gulf, east to Indonesia and the Philippines (Heatwole 1999). It has also been found in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands (Ineich and Rasmussen 1997).
Countries:
Native:
Bahrain; Bangladesh; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Kuwait; Malaysia; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Oman; Pakistan; Philippines; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; United Arab Emirates
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was rarely caught as bycatch by trawlers in western Malaysia in 1989 (Stuebing and Voris 1990).

This species is common along the east coast of India, predominantly a species of the south and the east coasts (Gulf of Mannar, Palk and the Coromandel coast) (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009). Common in the Andaman Sea (A. Rasmussen pers. comm. 2009).

Fishermen report that the population appears to have declined along the east coast of India (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Little is known about the life history of this species. It has been reported to occur in deeper water habitats (Smith 1926) down to 50 m (A Lobo pers. comm. 2009). Found over muddy sandy bottoms, and feeds on eels.

In Pakistan, it has been collected offshore. It was not recorded from mangrove swamps (Minton 1966).

Records suggest that this species attain very large sizes of up to 2.75 m (Smith 1943). However, most specimens collected rarely ever even reach 2 m (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Skins were used in Viet Nam in the past until the 1980s (A. Rasmussen pers. comm. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is known to be caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries. It is not known how this might be affecting the population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species, but it may occur in marine protected areas.

No sea snake species is currently listed by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Citation: Rasmussen, A., Sanders, K., Lobo, A. & Gatus, J. 2010. Hydrophis spiralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 September 2014.
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