Scroll Top

Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

Hydrophis platurus

Yellow-bellied sea snakes, also known as Hydrophis platura, are a species of venomous marine snakes that are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. 

They are characterized by their small size, slender bodies, and the distinctive yellow or yellow-orange coloration on the underside of their bodies, which gives them their common name.

In terms of size, yellow-bellied sea snakes are small, with most individuals reaching a length of around 50-80 cm (20-32 inches). They have slender bodies with smooth scales, and are adapted to swimming and diving, with paddle-like tails and the ability to extract oxygen from water through their skin.

Yellow-bellied sea snakes inhabit a variety of marine environments, including coral reefs, mangrove forests, estuaries, and shallow coastal waters. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The diet of yellow-bellied sea snakes consists mainly of small fish, such as eels and gobies, as well as octopuses and other small marine invertebrates. They are skilled hunters and predators, and are able to locate and capture prey using their keen senses, including their sense of smell and their ability to detect vibrations in the water.

Yellow-bellied sea snakes are generally solitary animals, and they are not social like some other species of snakes. They are most active at night, and during the day they tend to rest in hidden areas, such as under rocks or in crevices.

Yellow-bellied sea snakes are venomous and can be dangerous to humans if they are handled or accidentally touched. However, they are generally not aggressive and do not attack humans unless they feel threatened. 

Yellow-bellied sea snakes prefer to avoid contact with humans and will typically try to swim away if approached. Their venom can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and muscle weakness in humans, and can be potentially fatal if left untreated.

Yellow-bellied sea snakes are classified in the genus Hydrophis within the family Elapidae, which is part of the suborder Serpentes within the order Squamata.

The conservation status of yellow-bellied sea snakes is not well understood, and more research is needed to determine their population trends and distribution ranges. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently classifies yellow-bellied sea snakes as a species of least concern, but it is possible that some subpopulations or regional populations may be at risk. 

Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake Clickable
By Aloaiza - Own work, CC BY 3.0 - Wiki commons
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake photo
"Hydrophis platurus 118933110" by keesgroenendijk is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit
"180110-yellow-bellied-snake-0711" by The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit