Smith's small-headed sea snake, Hydrophis parviceps, was originally described in 1935 from a single type specimen collected in southern Vietnam. Since this time there has been only one further record for the species—a specimen collected near the type locality in 1960 that has since been lost. Through field surveys in southern Vietnam in 2001, we obtained three additional specimens of this poorly known sea snake from fisheries bycatch. In the current paper, we present morphological and molecular data for the three new specimens and the holotype, and redescribe H. parviceps based on data synthesized for all five specimens known to date. We also discuss the conservation status of the species based on its vulnerability to fisheries bycatch mortality and seemingly low abundance within a very restricted geographic distribution.

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