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.
- 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.
- Legal protection to sandy beaches
- Ban on certain activities including sand mining and tourism.
Section : Environment & Ecology