Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Black-banded sea krait

In Thai: งูสมิงทะเลปากดำ, ngu saming thale paak damm

Binomial name: Laticauda laticaudata, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The blue-lipped sea krait (Laticauda laticaudata) is a species of venomous sea-snakes Elapidae (Laticaudinae-sea snake) found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Taxonomy

The blue-lipped sea krait was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae, where it was given the binomial name of Coluber laticaudatus.

Description

Ventral scales of this snake are large, one-third to more than one-half the width of the body; the nostrils are lateral; nasal scales are separated by internasals; 19 longitudinal rows of imbricate scales are found at midbody; no azygous prefrontal shield is present; rostral scales are undivided; ventrals number 225-243; subcaudals number 38–47 in males, females have 30–35 (ventral and subcaudal counts after Smith 1943:443). The upper lip is dark brown. Total length varies with sex: males are 910 mm, females are 1070 mm; tail lengths are similar: 110 mm.

Distribution and habitat

This species is found in the Indian Ocean (Bangladesh, East India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines), off the coasts of Fujian and Taiwan (R.O.C), Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal, coasts of Malay Peninsula to New Guinea, Japan, Polynesia, Melanesia, Solomon Islands 2006, Timor-Leste and New Caledonia.

Special features

This snake is known to warm up in wedge-tailed shearwater burrows.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Elapidae
Genus
Laticauda
Species
Laticauda laticaudata

Common names

  • English:
    • Black-banded sea krait
    • Common sea krait
    • Blue-lipped sea krait
  • Thai: งูสมิงทะเลปากดำ, ngu saming thale paak damm

Subspecies

  • Laticauda laticaudata affinis, John Anderson, 1871

  • Laticauda laticaudata laticaudata, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

Synonyms

  • Laticauda laticaudata, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Laticauda laticaudata, Arne Redsted Rasmussen et al. (2011)
  • Laticauda laticaudata, Harold Cogger (2000)
  • Laticauda laticaudata, Kenneth R. G. Welch (1994)
  • Laticauda laticaudata, Harold Cogger (1983)
  • Laticauda laticaudata, Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1907)
  • Platurus laticaudatus, Frank Wall (1906)
  • Platurus laticaudatus, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Platurus muelleri, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Platurus affinis, John Anderson (1871)
  • Laticauda laticaudata affinis, John Anderson (1871)
  • Platurus fischeri, John Anderson (1871)
  • Platurus fischeri, Giorgio Jan (1859)
  • Platurus laticaudatus, Charles Frédéric Girard (1858)
  • Platurus laurenti, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (1817)
  • Laticauda scutata, Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti (1768)
  • Laticauda laticaudata laticaudata, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Coluber laticaudatus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map