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Enhydris snakes belong to the family Homalopsidae, a monophyletic group composed of semi-aquatic and mainly nocturnal snakes. Around three quarters of Enhydris species are associated with freshwater and a quarter associated with saltwater. They are usually associated with mud substrates. Enhydris are distributed from Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent across Southeast Asia to northern Australia. The genus Enhydris as originally delineated is now recognized to be polyphyletic (Karns et al. 2010 and references therein). As more narrowly defined by Murphy & Voris (2014), Enhydris includes just six species (E. chanardi, E. enhydris, E. innominata, E. jagorii, E. longicauda, and E. subtaeniata), which are collectively found from eastern India and Sri Lanka eastward to the Indochinese Peninsula.
Enhydris enhydris, the Rainbow Mud Snake, is a rear-fanged snake that is the most widely distributed member of the Enhydris clade (Enhydris sensu stricto). It occurs from eastern India to Indochina (and possibly southern China) southward to the Greater Sunda Islands as far east as Borneo (Murphy & Voris 2014 and references therein). Snakes of this species are striped and have a small, narrow head. The combination of 153–174 ventral scales, a pattern of longitudinal stripes, with no lateral or dorsal spots or bars, and a second pair of chin shields longer than the first distinguishes this snake from other Enhydris. It may be most easily confused with its sympatric (in the Mekong drainage) sister species, E. subtaeniata, which has fewer than 153 ventral scales, a pattern of spots on scale rows 4–6, and two or three pairs of chin shields (when there are two pairs, the first pair is longer than the second).