Banded Sea Krait Koh Tao Marine Life
Learn about the Amazing Banded Sea Krait on Koh Tao
The Banded Sea Krait is one of the most intriguing marine animals to see in the warm tropical sea around Koh Tao.
Also referred to as the Banded Sea Snake or Yellow-lipped Sea Krait, they are all the same animal and there are many misconceptions and unnecessary fear surrounding this snake.
The Banded Sea Krait is a common sight at many of the dive sites around Koh Tao and is a beautiful marine life species that also lives on land.
Where to find the Banded Sea Krait on Koh Tao
Banded Sea Kraits can be found at various dive sites around Koh Tao with the most common locations being Japanese Gardens, Red Rock, Green Rock and Leam Thian, Hin Wong Bay and Hin Wong Pinnacle.
How to identify the Banded Sea Krait
As the name would suggest the Banded Sea Krait is covered by both black and silvery blue coloured bands and their head is more of a white colour with a black circle on top, which is known as a crown.
The head of the Banded Sea Krait is slightly flatter than other commonly seen snakes and it as an evolutionary way to make them more hydrodynamic.
Another evolutionary change that makes them easy to identify is their tail ends in a flattened rounded edge known as a paddle and this is one of the biggest differences between the banded sea krait compared to any other snake.
Banded Sea Krait Characteristics & Behaviour
The Banded Sea Krait can reach lengths of over two metres with females usually growing nearly double the length of males.
These particular sea kraits commonly feed on eels or smaller fish and hunt by paralysing their prey.
A Banded Sea Krait has a highly potent neurotoxic venom and after the first bite they will leave their prey and wait for the venom to take effect, then like most snakes will swallow their food whole.
Seen on Land or Underwater
Banded Sea Kraits exhibit something known as Philopatry, which is the same as Sea Turtles and it means they will return to the same beach to lay their eggs.
As part of its behaviour, a Banded Sea Krait comes onto land for reproduction and to digest their prey and even to rest.
In fact, adult Banded Sea Kraits spend equal amounts of their life both underwater and on dry land.
The banded sea snake is the only species of the krait family that can actively move on land, albeit it a little less agile than when they are gliding smoothly around dive sites.
Interesting Facts about the Banded Sea Krait
Banded Sea Kraits are excellent navigators and one research study showed after moving a group of them more than 5 kilometres away, they found their way back to their nesting ground.
The effect of their neurotoxic venom makes the Banded Sea Krait ten times more deadly than that of a rattle snake and this marine animal is one of the deadliest creatures in the ocean.
Powerful Neuro Toxin
However, their toxin is used as a self defence mechanism and they are actually very docile and skittish creatures.
Due to their effective toxin, they have very few natural predators and most of these are either sharks or larger birds of prey whilst they are at the surface.
Another trick they have is to hide under rocks and move their tail very slowly mimicking the movement of their heads to lure their prey.