Hook-Nosed Sea Snake
Sea snakes are the most numerous venomous reptiles on earth.
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Enhydrina schistosa
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Conservation Status
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Locations
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Facts
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The hook-nosed, beaked, common, or Valakadeyan sea snake is a highly venomous sea snake species whose location is the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
It is responsible for half of all sea snake bites, envenomings, and 90% of fatalities. Its venom has neurotoxins and myotoxins. This sea snake is one of the most common of the 20 sea snake species in India.
5 Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Amazing Facts
- Its long nose and shape give it a beak or hook-like appearance.
- Its family Elapidae has snakes with neurotoxic venom, including cobra and kraits.
- Sea snakes are the most numerous venomous reptiles on earth.
- It has glands to eliminate excess salt.
- Anyone who gets bitten by this snake needs immediate medical attention.
Where To Find Hook-Nosed Sea Snake
The locations in which you can find hook-nosed sea snakes are the Arabia Sea, Persian Gulf, South Asia, and southeast Asia, and throughout the warm, tropical waters of the Indo–Pacific Ocean. They live on the coasts and coastal islands of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Bahrain, south of Madagascar and Seychelles, the Pakistani and Indian coasts from Gujarat to West Bengal, and Andaman & Nicobar Island, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China.
They are active both during the day and night and can dive up to 100m, but they usually remain between 0 and 30m. Although they can hold their breath underwater, their limit is 5 hours, and they usually do so for a half-hour to two hours at a time. They go where the current brings them. The mating season is in the winter, which is when they are aggressive. They give birth to live young.
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Scientific Name
Other names for the common name of the hook-nosed sea snake are beaked, common, or Valakadeyan sea snake. Its class is Reptilia (reptiles) and its family is Elapidae, which consists of venomous tropical and subtropical sea snakes that have erect fangs. Its order is Squamata of the lizards, snakes, and scaled reptiles, while its genus is Enhydrina, which has highly venomous sea snakes and it shares with Enhydrina zweifeli, the Sepik or Zweifel’s beaked sea snake. There are no subspecies. The scientific name for the snake is Enhydrina schistosa. The name Valakadeyan is from the Malayalam and Tamil word Vala kadiyan, which means net biter.
The Different Types of Hook-Nosed Sea Snake
The genus Enhydrina belongs to the hook-nose, beaked, or common sea snake. Enhydra schistosa is also called the Valakadeyan sea snake. Enhydra zweifeli is called Sepik or Zweifeli sea snake and its location is New Guinea and Australia. Like the other species, it lives in coastal lagoons, mangrove forests, shallow open seas, river mouths, and estuaries. Its primary food is also fish, including catfish and pufferfish.
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Population & Conservation Status
The population of Enhydrina schistosa is listed as Stable according to the IUCN Red List. Its status is listed as Least Concern. Population estimates in Malaysia were 900 to 1,400 juveniles in 1985 in the Muar river estuary in 1985, while adults numbered 1,344 ± 654. 7. Juveniles grew on average 0.5gm a day because of the warm temperature of the tropical estuary.
How To Identify Hook-Nosed Sea Snake: Appearance and Description
This sea snake species has as the main feature a nose that is longer than it is wide and shorter than the sides, with scales that are larger than those elsewhere on its body. The nostril scale hooks downwards over its lips. Its color is grey on the upper half, with whitish or yellowish sides and lower half and grey-blue bars. Juveniles are olive or grey with black bands which are widest in the middle. The length of its head and body is 1110mm, while its tail measure 190mm or 3-4 ft and its weight is 4lbs or less. Its coloring acts as a countershading method of camouflage, in which its dark dark upper sides match the shade of the ocean depths it’s at, and lighter undersides help it avoid looking dark against the bright sea surface.
How to identify hook-nosed sea snakes:
- Grey upper body
- White lower body and pale yellow sides
- Blue-grey bars
- If juvenile, it will be olive or grey with black bands, the widest ones being in the middle
- Length of head + body = 1110mm or 3-5ft
- Tail measures 190mm
- Weight is 4lbs or less
- Larger scales on the top of its head
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Pictures
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Venom: How Dangerous Are They?
The venom from the hook-nosed sea snake’s bite is 4-8 times more lethal than that of a cobra. It takes only 1.5mg of its venom to kill a human, but each bite has 7.9-9mg. Anyone who gets bitten by it needs medical attention immediately, no exceptions. The anti-venom for this sea snake species is only available in Malaysia.
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake Behavior and Humans
Sea snakes are aggressive during the mating season in winter. They bite when surprised or in self-defense. They are fascinated with high-pressure hoses and other long objects.View all 101 animals that start with H
Hook-Nosed Sea Snake FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is the beaked sea snake the most venomous snake?
Yes. It is a top 10 of the most venomous snakes in the world, with venom that is 100 times more lethal than that of any other snake.
Is the beaked sea snake aggressive?
Yes, this snake species is aggressive, especially during mating season in the winter. Otherwise, it only bites in self-defense or when surprised.
Where do hook-nosed sea snakes live?
They live in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Is Enhydrina poisonous?
No, it is venomous. Poisonous means it has a toxin that you ingest or inhale. Its venom is harmful when injected but most snake venom is not harmful when swallowed.
Are hooked-nosed sea snakes venomous?
Yes, they are the most venomous snake.
How do beaked sea snakes hunt?
They usually hunt alone or sometimes in groups to prey on the small fish that live in coral reefs.
What do beaked sea snakes eat?
Their main prey is fish.
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