Sea Snake Species of Abu Dhabi

This video is called Banded Sea Snake – Wakatobi, Indonesia.

From Wildlife Extra:

The Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) has been collecting sea snake specimens and sightings as part of its marine wildlife monitoring programme.

The reptiles were collected between 2002- 2006 off Marawah Island, Jernain Island and Abu Dhabi Island. The Agency recorded at least four sea snake species in Abu Dhabi waters; the Arabian Gulf Sea Snake, Yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Short Sea Snake and one unidentified species of the genus Hydrophis. The snakes all measured between 50 – 77 cm long.

Worldwide, there have been few records of human fatalities due to sea snake bites, although some erroneous reports make huge claims for sea snakes deaths. Sea snakes have very small mouths which they can open to bite or swallow larger objects, they are capable of swallowing prey two to three times the diameter of their necks.

The Arabian Gulf Sea Snake, the most common sea snake in Abu Dhabi waters, is dangerous and its bite can be fatal. However, according to the Agency, this species is usually docile. It lives in warm, shallow waters or in sea grass. It is yellow in colour, sometimes a pale dull green or grey, with dark bands along the length of its body.

Approximately 50 species of sea snakes occur in warm tropical waters and are distributed across the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Ten sea snake species have been described in the Arabian Gulf.

Banded sea kraits are venomous, but generally not thought to be aggressive and therefore dangerous to divers. Although they feed in the sea, they return to land to mate. Unlike many other sea snakes, they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young: here.

Researchers studying turtle-headed seasnakes living on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific noticed something unusual about the snakes’ color patterns: seasnakes living in more pristine parts of the reef were decorated with black-and-white bands or blotches. Those in places with more human activity — near the city or military activity — were black. Those color differences are explained by differences in the snakes’ exposure to pollution: here.

Snake hunting in Cambodia: here.

Marawah Becomes the First Biosphere Reserve in the UAE: here.

7 thoughts on “Sea Snake Species of Abu Dhabi

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