The Olive Seasnake is large, heavily built and highly variable in colour and pattern (Cogger 2000,1975). Western Australian populations are usually creamy, golden brown to dark brown on the dorsal surface with lighter brown colouring on the lower flanks. Queensland populations are more uniform olive or pale brown on the upper surface and have slightly paler sides (Cogger 2000; Ehmann 1992b). The head scales are large and regular with some fragmentation of scales especially in the parietal region. Body scales are smooth and imbricate (interlocking) in 21 – 25 rows at the mid-body. There are 135 – 155 ventral scales, and these are large, single and slightly notched on the free edge. The anal scale is divided. There are between 25 – 35 subcaudal scales (enlongated scales underneath the tail) and these are single. The Olive Seasnake was found to commonly grow to 2 m in the early 2000s (Cogger 2000) and have been long known to be aggressive during courtship (Heatwole 1975).
Olive Seasnake |
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
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IUCN Red List Assessment, Aipysurus laevis
Climate change may thus threaten all sea snakes which are coral reef specialists (Francis 2006).