Banded Sea Krait Amphibious Snake

Banded Sea Krait

The venom of the Banded Sea Krait is among the most toxic snake venoms in the world, luckily they are very docile snake and not at all aggressive so it is rare for it to bite humans, the humans that have been bitten by it in the Philippines are mainly fishermen.

Banded Sea Krait Facts

Habitat 

Banded Sea Kraits are rather unique among sea snakes as they are able to live on land and can even climb. While they can live on land they do prefer to live in shallow tropical waters such as coral reefs, and mangrove swamps. They like water no more than ten metres deep. On land, they are mainly found on coral islands, sandy beaches and sometimes in low hanging trees.

Physical Characteristics

The Banded Sea Krait has between 20 to 65 black bands round its body that varies between blue and a blue grey colour. The bands start on its neck and extend all the way to the tip of its tail. The body is a cylindrical shape and it has a paddle type tail.

Size

Males can reach up to 30 inches (75cm) in length. Females can be much larger and grow up to 50 inches (128cm) long.

Diet

The main food of the Banded Sea Krait is eels but they also eat small fish if they can trap them in rocks.

Females having larger bodies are able to hunt for food at greater depths than the males.

Reproduction

The female reaches sexual maturity between 18 to 24 months while the male reaches it at 18 months. Another difference between the Banded Sea Krait and other sea snakes is the Sea Krait lays its eggs on land ever just under sand or on sand. During the breeding season the Sea Krait can be found in large numbers on small islands where the courtship and mating takes place. The snakes often migrate long distances to reach the breeding grounds.

Behaviour

The Banded Sea Krait moves to the land about every 10 days to slough skin, digest food and lay eggs. While on land they drink fresh water.

Adaptation

Large belly scales much the same as those on land snakes allow it to move on land and even climb. To give it the ability to expel all the salt it absorbs from the sea it has a salt gland under its tongue. To avoid it taking on water when in the sea it has close-fitting scales around its mouth and nasal valves. The lungs of the Banded Sea Krait are much larger than land snakes allowing it to stay under water for anything up to 2 hours, normally it will just stay under water for 15 to 30 minutes. They have the ability to breath through their skin not just their nose.

Venom

The venom of the Banded Sea Krait is 10 times more than that of a rattle snake, it affects both nerves and muscles.

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