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Hydrophis peronii facts for kids

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Hydrophis peronii
Acalyptus superciliosus.jpg
By Ferdinando Sordelli in Jan & Sordelli, 1860
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • 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

Hydrophis peronii, commonly known as the horned sea snake, Peron's sea snake, and the spiny-headed seasnake, is a species of venomous snake in the subfamily Hydrophiinae of the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to the western tropical Pacific Ocean. It is the only sea snake with spines on the head. Like all other members of the family Elapidae, it is venomous. It is sometimes placed in its own genus Acalyptophis.


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


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

Geographic range

H. peronii is found in the Gulf of Siam, Thailand, 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, and Australia, (North Territory, Queensland, West Australia, & possibly New South Wales).


The preferred habitats of H. peronii are seas with sandy beds and coral reefs.


The diet of H. peronii includes small fish.


H. peronii is a viviparous species that produces up to 10 live young per female.

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  • 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.
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  • Duméril [AMC] (1853). "Prodrome de la classification des reptiles ophidiens". Mém. Acad. Sci., Paris 23: 399-536. ("Acalyptus Peronii ", new species, p. 522). (in French).
  • Fischer JG (1856). "Die Familie der Seeschlangen". Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3: 1-78. (in German).
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  • 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.
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