Sea kraits (Laticauda genus) are a group of venomous sea snakes found in the coastal waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are characterized by their distinctive banded pattern, which is typically black and white or blue and white, and their laterally compressed tail which is used to propel themselves through the water.
They have sharp teeth for catching their prey. They are typically medium-sized snakes, reaching around 1-1.5 meters (3-5 ft) in total length.
Sea Kraits are found in the coastal waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, typically in the warmer waters. They can be found in a variety of marine habitats, including coral reefs, lagoons, and mangrove swamps, as well as estuaries and along sandy beaches. They are often seen in shallow water but can also be found at depths of up to 60m.
Sea kraits primarily feed on eels, which they catch both in the water and on land. They are also known to eat fish, frogs, and occasionally other snakes.
Sea Kraits are primarily active at night and are known to be quite docile. They are good swimmers and use their laterally compressed tail to propel themselves through the water. They are also known to be able to stay underwater for extended periods of time, thanks to their ability to extract oxygen from the water. They are typically found alone or in small groups.
There are six known species of sea kraits in the Laticauda genus:
- Laticauda colubrina (colubrine sea krait)
- Laticauda crockeri (Crocker’s sea krait)
- Laticauda laticaudata (banded sea krait)
- Laticauda semifasciata (Chinese sea krait)
- Laticauda saintgironsi (Saint-Girons’ sea krait)
- Laticauda schistorhynchus (short-nosed sea krait)
Are they endangered? All species of sea kraits are considered vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN. Habitat destruction and degradation caused by human activities such as pollution and coastal development are major threats to their survival. Additionally, they are also sometimes accidentally caught by fishermen and killed.
It is very important to note that sea kraits are venomous and should not be handled without proper training and precautions.