American Oceans

A Guide to the Different Kinds of Sea Snakes

Sea snakes, often referred to as serpents of the sea, are a group of venomous snakes perfectly adapted to an aquatic existence.

Banded Sea Snake close head shot underwater

Unlike their terrestrial counterparts, these remarkable reptiles have ventured beyond the shores and embarked on an evolutionary journey that has led to a multitude of captivating adaptations.

From their sleek bodies designed for swift and graceful movement through the water to their incredible ability to breathe air while submerged, sea snakes are extraordinary ambassadors of the hidden world beneath the waves.


Spiral Sea Snake

Hydrophis Spiralis

The Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific are home to a type of marine snake called Hydrophis spiralis, sometimes referred to as the spiral sea snake.

source: reptile-database.org

It should be avoided if encountered because it is extremely venomous.

The Hydrophis spiralis got its name from the body’s unusual spiral pattern. The pattern contrasts with the snake’s dark back and is typically yellow or green in color. The snake can readily glide through the water because to its long, slender body.

Fish and other small water organisms are the main food sources for the specialist hunter Hydrophis spiralis.

With unique scales that help it retain moisture and gills that allow it to breathe underwater, it is extremely well adapted to life in the ocean.

Despite being venomous, the Hydrophis spiralis is not thought to pose a serious threat to people because it generally avoids contact with them and is not aggressive.


Banded Sea Krait

Laticauda Colubrina

The Pacific and Indian Oceans are home to the marine snake species Laticauda colubrina, sometimes referred to as the Banded Sea Krait. It should be avoided if encountered because it is extremely venomous.

a banded sea krait swimming along the ocean floor

The unique black and white banded pattern on the body of the Laticauda colubrina gave rise to its scientific name.

It is a specialist hunter that eats fish and other small aquatic organisms and has a long, slender body that is ideally suited for swimming.

Despite being poisonous, the Laticauda colubrina is not thought to pose a serious threat to people because it generally behaves calmly and stays away from them.

Its venom can be harmful to humans, yet it may bite in self-defense if attacked or threatened.

The Laticauda colubrina is a nocturnal animal that rests most of the day in underwater caves or cracks before emerging at night to hunt.

It is a crucial species in its ecosystem because it aids in maintaining the balance of the food chain and regulating the populations of other marine animals.


Yellow-bellied Sea Snake

Pelamis Platurus

The Pacific and Indian Oceans are host to the marine snake species Pelamis platurus, also recognized as the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake. It should be avoided if encountered because it is extremely venomous.

a venomous yellow-bellied sea snake slithering on sand

The Pelamis platurus, as its name suggests, has a dark back and a yellow belly. It consumes fish and other tiny aquatic animals and has a long, slender body that is ideally suited for swimming and hunting in the water.

They are pelagic animals that dwell in the open ocean and can spend a lot of time below because of a modified lung that serves as a gill.

The Pelamis platurus is a crucial species in its ecology because it helps to regulate the numbers of other marine animals and keep the food chain in balance.

Due to its distinctive adaptations to ocean life and its venom, which has been researched for potential medical applications, it is also a well-liked subject for scientific study.


Ringed Sea Snake

Emydocephalus Annulatu

The waters of the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific are home to the marine snake species Emydocephalus annulatus, also referred to as the Ringed Sea Snake. It should be avoided if encountered because it is extremely venomous.

The long, slender body of the Emydocephalus annulatus is ideally suited for swimming and hunting in the water.

It gets its name from the recognizable ringed pattern on its body, which is typically yellow or green and stands out against its dark back.

The Emydocephalus annulatus, which consumes fish and other tiny aquatic animals, is a crucial species in its ecosystem because it helps to regulate the numbers of other marine animals and keep the food chain in balance.

Despite being poisonous, it rarely bites people and is generally not aggressive.

The Emydocephalus annulatus has a flattened tail that is useful for swimming and a cylindrical body shape.

It can breathe underwater because to gills and unique scales that help it keep moisture in. Additionally, to provide it a clear view of its surroundings while swimming, it has a short head that is somewhat distinguishable from its neck.


Beaked Sea Snake

Enhydrina Schistosa

The Indian and Pacific Oceans are home to the venomous marine snake species Enhydrina schistosa, also referred to as the Beaked Sea Snake.

source: reptile-database.org

If found, it should be avoided as it is one of the world’s most venomous snakes.

The long, slender body of the Enhydrina schistosa is ideally suited for swimming and hunting in the water. It gets its name from the unusual beak-like snout it utilizes to catch fish and other small aquatic animals as prey.

Enhydrina schistosa is a fish with a flattened tail that is utilized for swimming and a cylindrical body shape.

It can breathe underwater because to gills and unique scales that help it keep moisture in. It also features small eyes, a snout that resembles a beak, and a narrow head that is somewhat different from its neck.

All of these species are highly venomous and should be avoided if found. They are also not domesticated and it’s illegal to keep them as pets in most places.

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