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Mamberamo River Water Snake, Heurnia ventromaculata is known on the basis of one specimen (ZMA 11066) described in 1926. Thus the specimen is known only from the type locality. While nothing is known about the natural history of this snake the area that it lives in has been studied by ecologists due to a proposed project to dam the Mamberamo River for a hydroelectric plant to power a large industrial complex.  The Mamberamo River is about 650 km in length and drains a region of steep, rainforest covered mountains, with a catchment that it is 76,000 km2. The river carries a heavy sediment load. The Mamberamo River basin has a rich biodiversity; and its estuary has large areas of freshwater swamps and extensive areas of mangrove. Thus, there may be other homalopsids and aquatic herpetofauna to be found in the area

The type specimen, a male, has a total length of 702 mm, with a 148 mm tail. The tail/SVL ratio is 26.7%. Murphy (2007) contains a detailed description of the holotype.


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© John C. Murphy

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