What is the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake?

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What is the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake? Blog Image


A rare yellow-bellied snake was seen on the coast of Digha Bay of Bengal amid huge tides recently.

About Yellow-bellied Sea Snake:


  • The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake is a highly venomous species of snake that belongs to the subfamily Hydrophiinae (the sea snakes).
  • Scientific Name: Pelamis platurus
  • Distribution:
    • This snake is considered the most widely-distributed snake in the world.
    • It is found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.
    • It is found in tropical ocean waters in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Mexico, including Baja California, and Central America.
  • Features:
    • Adult length averages 3 feet (0.9 meter). The snake has smooth scales and a sleekly shaped body.
    • It has a distinctive bicolor pattern with a yellow underbelly and brown back with a flattened yellow tail with large black spots.
    • It is a diurnal sea snake and primarily aquatic, living its entire life cycle at sea. 
    • This snake can spend up to 3 hours underwater without surfacing.
    • Adaptations to aquatic life include the reduced ventral scale size, laterally compressed body and paddle-tail for swimming, valved nostrils and palatine seal for excluding seawater, and cutaneous gas exchange for prolonging dive times. 
    • This species can uptake up to 33% of its oxygen requirements through the skin while diving and swimming at the surface of the water.
    • They are carnivores (piscivores) and eat only fish.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Least Concern


Q1) What are Piscivores animals?

Piscivores are a group of animals that primarily feed on fish as their primary food source. They are specialized predators with adaptations that allow them to catch and consume fish efficiently. Piscivory is a common feeding strategy observed in various animal species across different habitats, including aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Source: ‘Most poisonous’ yellow-bellied snake found in Bay of Bengal; experts say snake bite can paralyse humans