Yellow-bellied Sea Snake

Common Name: Yellow-bellied Sea Snake

Scientific Name: Pelamis platurus


The Pelagic sea snake (or yellow-bellied sea snake), Pelamis platurus: This snake has a prominent paddle-like tail. The Pelagic sea snake's coloration normally includes a black background color contrasting strongly with a yellow belly and pale yellow lateral stripe along the body which frequently breaks into an undulating array of black and yellow blotches on the posterior body and tail.

This snake spends much of its time floating in open ocean waters along the edges of the continental shelves of large land masses. It is venomous, although not nearly as toxic as many other sea snakes. Fatalities are rare even among fishermen who, bare-handed, regularly remove these snakes from their nets. It is rarely seen in the Central Pacific but is always a possibility as an ocean vagrant dispersed as a result of unusual currents and storms. It is a member of the largest sea snake family, Hydrophiidae, and hence bears its young alive without leaving the ocean.