Ephalophis greyae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Elapidae

Scientific Name: Ephalophis greyae Smith, 1931
Common Name(s):
English North-western Mangrove Sea Snake
Ephalophis greyi Smith, 1931 [orth. error]
Taxonomic Notes: Shea (1996) notes that the name of this species should be spelled greyae, not greyi, because it was named in honour of a Mrs. Beatrice Grey and hence should bear the feminine ending.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-15
Assessor(s): Lukoschek, V., Guinea, M. & Milton, D.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S.R., Elfes, C.T., Polidoro, B.A. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team) and Penrose, H. & Maryann, B.
This species is endemic to northwestern Australia in a fairly remote area. There are no known threats, although it is a mangrove-associated species and may be affected locally by coastal development. Increased industrial activity in the near future may affect this species and should be monitored. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs along the northwestern coast of western Australia from the Kimberley Region to Shark Bay (Storr et al. 1986).
Countries occurrence:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is not commonly encountered. It is found in a remote area and is not often surveyed for (T. Courtney pers. comm. 2009). The population status is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found on shallow coastal flats (McDowell 1974), in mangroves and estuarine mudflats (Heatwole 1999). It forages on the landward limit of the high tide and out of the water on the salt flats at low tide, entering mudskipper (goby) burrows and feeding on either gobies or their eggs (H. Penrose and M. Guinea pers. comms. 2009). This species may be an important trophic link between the salt flats habitat and higher trophic levels in adjacent coastal waters (H. Penrose pers.comm. 2009).

It eats fish (McDowell 1974), most likely gobies (M. Guinea pers. comm. 2009). Forages in crab holes for gobies when flooded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats specific to this species, but threats to associated habitat such as mangrove forests may be a concern.

Increased industrial activity is likely to occur in this species' habitat the near future due to salt extraction, mining and infrastructure development for shipping (M. Guinea pers. comm. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures.

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

Sea snakes are protected in Australia since their addition to the "Listed Marine Specie"' by the Department of Environment and Water Resources in 2000. They are protected in Australia under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.

Citation: Lukoschek, V., Guinea, M. & Milton, D. 2010. Ephalophis greyae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176755A7298070. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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