Aipysurus laevis

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Aipysurus laevis
Aipysurus laevis.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Aipysurus
Species: A. laevis
Binomial name
Aipysurus laevis
Lacépède, 1804

Aipysurus laevis is a species of venomous sea snake found in the Indo-Pacific. Its common names include golden sea snake,[1] olive sea snake, and olive-brown sea snake.[2]

It is a common, widespread species that lives on coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef.[2] It feeds on crustaceans, fish, and fish eggs.[2]

Aipysurus laevis has been found to have photoreceptors in the skin of its tail, allowing it to detect light and presumably ensuring it is completely hidden, including its tail, inside coral holes during the day. While other species have not been tested, A. laevis possibly is not unique among sea snakes in this respect. Interestingly, dermal light sensitivity is found in all the major animal phyla.[3]


Currently, two subspecies are recognized, including the typical form described here.[4]

Subspecies[4] Authority[4] Common name[1] Geographic range
A. l. laevis Lacépède, 1804 Olive sea snake
A. l. pooleorum H. M. Smith, 1974 Shark Bay sea snake

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Western Australian Reptile Species at Frank O'Connor's Birding Western Australia. Accessed 20 September 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Lukoschek, V., et al. 2010. Aipysurus laevis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 12 April 2015.
  3. ^ Zimmerman, K. & Heatwole, H. (1990). Cutaneous photoreception: a new sensory mechanism for reptiles. Copeia 1990(3), 860-62.
  4. ^ a b c "Aipysurus laevis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 September 2007. 

External links[edit]