Sea krait  |  

Laticauda laticaudata


Sea kraits are sea snakes that depend on the shore of coral islets for digestion, reproduction (mating and egg laying), skin sloughing and resting after foraging at sea. The body of Laticauda laticaudata is cylindrical with little suggestion of lateral compression. The head is black dorsally with a yellow to white bar above the eye which may extend onto the snout. The upper lip is black. The nasal scales are laterally positioned with two or more internasal scales on the dorsal surface. The azygous prefrontal shield is missing leaving only two scales in the prefrontal region of the head. The ventral scales are at least three times as wide as the neighbouring body scales. The body scales are smooth, overlapping and in 19 rows around the body at the neck, mid-body and vent. Males and female have between 225–245 ventral scales. The subcaudal scales are paired and number from 38–47 for males and 30–35 for females. The body is light cream ventrally and blue dorsally with between 25–70 black bands. Adults grow to around one metre.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • IUCN Red List Assessment, Laticauda laticaudata

    If suitable habitat in the inter tidal region is lost due to rising sea levels associated with global warming (Meehl et al. 2005; Bindoff et al. 2007); this is expected to constitute a direct threat.

    Climate change may thus threaten all sea snakes which are coral reef specialists (Francis The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Laticauda laticaudata published in 2010. http 10.2305 IUCN.UK.2010 4.RLTS.T176771A7301306.en 2006).