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Kraits Cobras Sea Snakes and Relatives: Elapidae

Sea Krait (laticauda Colubrina): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The sea krait is banded with blue or bluish gray and black and has a paddle-shaped tail to help it swim. It also has valves, or flaps, that can close its nostrils, or nose holes, when it goes underwater. Adults are usually about 39 inches (1 meter) long, but some sea kraits can reach 55 inches (1.4 meters) in length.

Geographic range: The sea krait is found in New Guinea, on many Pacific islands, and from India to Southeast Asia.

Habitat: Sea kraits spend most of their lives in the ocean water, coming ashore only to rest or to lay their eggs. Once in a while, they may travel into mangrove swamps. Mangroves are tropical trees and shrubs that form thick masses along coastlines.

Sea kraits spend most of their lives in the ocean water, coming ashore only to rest or to lay their eggs. (Illustration by Dan Erickson. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: They usually find their food, primarily eels, in coral reefs.

Behavior and reproduction: Most active at night, the sea krait occasionally looks for food in the daytime. In the breeding season, females leave their saltwater homes to lay up to eighteen eggs at a time on the seashore.

Sea kraits and people: People are rarely bitten by this gentle snake. A sea krait's bite, however, is venomous.

Conservation status: The sea krait is not endangered or threatened. ∎



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Web site:

"King Cobra." NationalGeographic.com. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kingcobra/index-n.html (accessed on September 9, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesKraits Cobras Sea Snakes and Relatives: Elapidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, North American Coral Snake (micrurus Fulvius): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, KRAITS COBRAS SEA SNAKES THEIR RELATIVES AND PEOPLE,