Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Yellow sea snake

In Thai: งูแสมรังเหลือง, ngu saem rang leuang

Binomial name: Hydrophis spiralis, George Shaw, 1802

Hydrophis spiralis, commonly known as the yellow sea snake, is a species of venomous sea snake in the family Elapidae.


This is perhaps the longest species of seasnake, up to 2.75 m.

Diagnostic Characters- Scales on thickest part of body with rounded or pointed tips, imbricate; 6-7 maxillary teeth behind fangs; normally 1 anterior temporal; 6-8 upper labials; 25-31 scale rows around neck, 33-38 around midbody (increase from neck to midbody 4-8); ventrals 295-362, distinct throughout, about twice as broad as adjacent body scales; yellowish or yellowish-green above, dorsal scales edged with black, 41-46 narrow black bands encircle body, the bands usually less than one third the width of the lighter interspaces; head in young black, with a yellow horseshoe-shaped marking; in adult head usually yellow. Total length, males 1620 mm, females 1830 mm; tail length, males 140 mm, females 120 mm.

Geographic range

Indian Ocean (Persian Gulf, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, New Guinea), New Caledonia/Loyalty Islands.

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Scientific classification

Hydrophis spiralis

Common names

  • English: Yellow sea snake
  • French: Hydrophide-spirale
  • Thai: งูแสมรังเหลือง, ngu saem rang leuang


  • Leioselasma spiralis, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, K. L. Sanders et al. (2012)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, Arne Redsted Rasmussen et al. (2011)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, T. S. N. Murthy (2010)
  • Leioselasma spiralis, Vladimir Emelyanovich Kharin (2005)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, Patrick David et al. (2004)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, Aaron Matthew Bauer & Ross Allen Sadlier (2000)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, John C. Murphy & Merel J. Cox & Harold K. Voris (1999)
  • Leiocephalus spiralis, Indraneil Das (1996)
  • Leioselasma spiralis, Kenneth R. G. Welch (1994)
  • Leioselasma spiralis, Vladimir Emelyanovich Kharin (1984)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Leioselasma spiralis, Stanley Henry Prater (1924)
  • Lioselasma sic spiralis, Frank Wall (1921)
  • Distira brugmansi, F. H. S. Stone (1913)
  • Hydrophis brugmansii, George Albert Boulenger (1912)
  • Hydrophis melanocinctus, Frank Wall (1906)
  • Hydrophis aurifasciata, James A. Murray (1886)
  • Hydrophis bishopii, James A. Murray (1884)
  • Hydrophis temporalis, William Thomas Blanford (1881)
  • Hydrophis rappii, Giorgio Jan (1872)
  • Hydrophis robusta, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (1864)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Hydrophis spiralis, John Edward Gray (1849)
  • Hydrophis sublaevis, John Edward Gray (1842)
  • Hydrophis melanurus, Johann Georg Wagler (1828)
  • Hydrophis brugmansii, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Hydrus spiralis, George Shaw (1802)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


No photo for this species yet

Range Map

Distribution map of Yellow sea snake, Hydrophis spiralis in Thailand
  • Phuket Coast
Range map of Hydrophis spiralis in Thailand