About Sea Kraits

About Sea Kraits

  • Sea Kraits are amphibious sea snakes of the genus ‘Laticauda’
  • They are commonly known as banded sea snakes.
  • They rely entirely on aquatic prey especially coral reefs.
  • They have adapted to aquatic life with flattened paddle-like tail, salt-excreting glands, and enlarged lungs.
  • Sea kraits retain an oviparous mode of reproduction. Thus they lay their eggs on land.
  • They also mate, digest their prey, and shed their skins on land. However their terrestrial lives are mostly nocturnal.
  • Sea kraits require fresh water on land and low salinity at sea.

 

 

Distribution

  • Sea kraits are widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical coastal waters of the eastern Indian Ocean, southeastern Asia, and archipelagoes of the western Pacific Ocean.
  • Yellow-lipped Sea Krait and Blue-lipped Sea Krait have the largest range, extending throughout the southeastern Asian islands and seas.
  • In the Andaman Islands, the yellow-lipped and the blue-lipped sea krait are known to occur throughout the archipelago.

 

Vulnerability to Anthropogenic activities

  • Sea kraits restrict their terrestrial activities between 6:00 PM and 4:00 AM.
  • During the day, they take shelter in the cool microclimatic conditions provided by the crevices of live and dead trees.
  • Further they use the slopes of sandy beaches to move from the sea to uprooted trees dispersed along the intertidal zone.
  • Sea kraits are known to exhibit positive phototaxis on land at night. (simply means they move in search of light at night).
  • This makes them vulnerable to anthropogenic activities.

 

Way Forward

  • Legal protection to sandy beaches
  • Ban on certain activities including sand mining and tourism.

 

Section : Environment & Ecology

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