Sea Snake

Sea snake (Adrian Kaye /

Sea snakes (Hydrophiinae) are characterized by laterally flattened bodies and oar-like tails. They are typically black with alternating gray, blue, or white bands. Sea snakes belong to the elapid family (Elapidae). As compared to their terrestrial relatives, they have relatively small fangs. Sea snakes must surface regularly to breathe air but can stay submerged for several hours. The largest sea snake species (Hydrophis spiralis) grows up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length. Snakes provoked by humans will bite in self-defense. The venom of some species can be lethal. Divers can protect themselves by wearing a full neoprene wet suit (6 millimeters).

Inhabits the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

skull and crossbones

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.