Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in southern China from south central China's East Hill and Plain, as well as coastal plain of Fujian-Guangdon and in Viet Nam. It also occurs on the continental islands of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Hainan (Murphy 2007).

This is a lowland, highly aquatic snake that typically occurs between sea level and 200 m but reaches 900-1,100 m in Viet Nam.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: S China (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hainan), N Vietnam  
Type locality: China
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Ecology

Habitat

coastal
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in fish ponds, sluggish streams, canals, and rice paddies. It feeds primarily on fish, but also amphibians (Murphy 2007).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 4.2 years (captivity)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Murphy, J.

Reviewer/s
Livingstone, S.R., Elfes, C.T., Polidoro, B.A. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species in abundant within its relatively extensive range. It adapts well to human activity and development (e.g. it is found in rice paddies and canal systems). Although threats to this species include harvest for food and skin, these threats are not considered to be causing significant declines of this species. This species is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This species is considered common, it is thought to be utilizing the rice paddy ecosystem and may therefore have spread and increased in abundance from its original distribution (Murphy 2007).

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is occasionally used as food by people (Murphy 2007). In 1991-2001, 300 live snakes and 85,000 skins were exported to China (Zhou and Jiang 2004).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures in place for this species.
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Wikipedia

Chinese water snake

The Chinese water snake or Chinese smooth water snake (Myrrophis chinensis) is a species of mildly venomous, rear-fanged snake, endemic to Asia.

Geographic range[edit]

M. chinensis is found in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Habitat[edit]

As the common name suggests, it is a highly aquatic species, adapting well to human-altered environments such as fish pools and rice paddies.[1]

Conservation status[edit]

It is considered common,[1] although it has declined in Taiwan and is protected there.[3]

Description[edit]

Myrrophis chinensis is a relatively small snake reaching total length (including tail) of up to 80 cm (31 in).

Diet[edit]

It typically feeds on fish and amphibians.[3]

Commercial use[edit]

Myrrophis chinensis are harvested for food and skins, but this is not considered to be threatening its populations.[1]

Medicinal use[edit]

Myrrophis chinensis is used in folk medicine.[4] It is commonly used in the production of Chinese snake oil. It is known for treating ailments such as fever, joint pain, and headache. It is typically ingested to gain the medicinal effects.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Murphy, J. (2010). "Enhydris chinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  3. ^ a b Breuer, Hans; Murphy, William Christopher (2009–2010). "Enhydris chinensis". Snakes of Taiwan. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Nóbrega Alves, R. R.; Silva Vieira, W. L.; Santana, G. G. (2008). "Reptiles used in traditional folk medicine: Conservation implications". Biodiversity and Conservation 17 (8): 2037–2049. doi:10.1007/s10531-007-9305-0.  edit

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger, G. A. (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ), ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Hypsirhina chinensis, pp. 8–9 + Plate I, Figures 2 & 2a).
  • Brands, S. J. (comp.) (1989-2006). Systema Naturae 2000. The Taxonomicon. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Universal Taxonomic Services.
  • Gray, J. E. (1842). Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family HYDRIDÆ. Zoological Miscellany 1842: 59-68. (Hypsirhina chinensis, new species, p. 66).
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. (1864). The Reptiles of British India. London: The Ray Society. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xxvii + 452 pp. + Plates I-XXVI. (Hypsirhina chinensis, p. 283).
  • Kumar, A. B.; Sanders, K. L.; George, S.; Murphy, J. C. (2012). The status of Eurostus dussumieri and Hypsirhina chinensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes): with comments on the origin of salt tolerance in homalopsid snakes. Systematics and Biodiversity 10 (4): 479-489. (Myrrophis chinensis, new combination).
  • Smith, M. A. (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia, Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Enhydris chinensis, p. 387).
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

name change

This snake is now in the genus Myrrophis. Kumar et al (2012) removed it from the genus Enhydris based on a molecular investigation and erected the genus Myrrophis for this species and its sister species, M. bennettii

  • Kumar, A. B., K. L. Sanders, S. George, J.C .Murphy. 2012, The status of Eurostus dussumierii and Hypsirhina chinensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes): with comments on the origin of salt tolerance in homalopsid snakes. Systematics and Biodiversity 10:479-489.
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