The life of Andaman’s sea kraits


  • The Andaman Islands are well-known for stunning beaches and now, the Sentinelese. Less-known are the colourful sea snakes – banded sea kraits – that also share these beaches. Now, a four-year study has helped shed more light on the mysterious terrestrial life of these amphibious snakes.
  • Banded sea kraits hunt for their prey in coral reefs. Though they spend a lot of time underwater, they have to get back to land to digest their prey, lay eggs and even slough their skin. Yet very little is known about their terrestrial lives for they are mostly nocturnal.
  • Both species were mostly spotted on wood or tree roots (especially of uprooted Manilkara littoralis, a mangrove tree) on the beaches where they were resting. The snakes also shared these tree-root crevices with hermit crabs.
  • Sea kraits used the gradual slopes of sandy beaches to move from the sea to uprooted trees dispersed along the intertidal zone, suggesting that these beaches could be crucial for the snakes.
  • The uprooted trees in the Andaman Islands provide a very unique environment which sea kraits have habituated themselves to.


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