Blue-lipped sea krait

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Banded sea krait
Banded Sea Snake-jonhanson.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Laticauda
Species: L. laticaudata
Binomial name
Laticauda laticaudata

The blue-lipped sea krait, blue-banded sea krait, or common sea krait (Laticauda laticaudata) is a species of venomous sea-snake in the subfamily Laticaudinae, family Elapidae. It is found in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.[2]


The blue-lipped sea krait was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae, where it was given the binomial name of Coluber laticaudatus.[3] There are two subspecies, Laticauda laticaudata laticaudata and Laticauda laticaudata affinis.[2]


L. laticaudata hunting in the coral reefs offshore in Ko Samui, Thailand.

Ventral scales of this snake are large, one-third to more than one-half the width of the body; the nostrils are lateral; nasal scales are separated by internasals; 19 longitudinal rows of imbricate scales are found at midbody; no azygous prefrontal shield is present; rostral scales are undivided; ventrals number 225-243; subcaudals number 38–47 in males, females have 30–35 (ventral and subcaudal counts after Smith 1943:443). The upper lip is dark brown. Total length varies with sex: males are 910 mm (36 in), females are 1,070 mm (42 in); tail lengths are similar: 110 mm (4.3 in).[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is found in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans: Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, East India, Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand), coasts of Malay Peninsula to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, New Guinea, the Philippines, off the coasts of Fujian and Taiwan, Japan, Polynesia, Melanesia, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Australia (Queensland).[2]

Special features[edit]

This snake is known to warm up in wedge-tailed shearwater burrows.[4]


  • Kharin V. E. 1984 Revision of sea snakes of subfamily Laticaudinae Cope, 1879 sensu lato (Serpentes, Hydrophiidae). Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta 124: 128-139
  1. ^ Lane, A.; Guinea, M.; Lobo, A. & Gatus, J. (2010). "Laticauda laticaudata". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T176771A7301306. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T176771A7301306.en. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Laticauda laticaudata at the Reptile Database. Accessed 8 January 2018.
  3. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis (in Latin). Vol. I (10th revised ed.). Holmiae: (Laurentii Salvii). p. 222 – via The Internet Archive.
  4. ^ Brischoux, F.; Bonnet, X.; Shine, R. (2009). "Kleptothermy: an additional category of thermoregulation, and a possible example in sea kraits (Laticauda laticaudata, Serpentes)". Biology Letters. 5 (6): 729–731. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0550. PMC 2828009. PMID 19656862.

External links[edit]

  • Hans Breuer & William Christopher Murphy (2009–2010). "Laticauda laticaudata". Snakes of Taiwan. Retrieved 7 October 2012..