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Crystal Dive > News Archive > 2015 > September 17th
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The Banded Sea Snake

 

The Banded sea snake or krait (Laticauda Colubrina) is the most common form of amphibious snake throughout SE Asia and is the only type that you will encounter when scuba diving Koh Tao. Tao's reefs and rocky shorelines provide the krait with an excellent habitat and eco system for it to survive.

 

When out on a dive trip they are often spotted on the dive sites that surround Koh Nangyuan especially Japanese Gardens and Red Rock.

 

How Do They Look?

 

These snakes are named after their blue and black band colouration that cover the length of its body with the underside being a slight beige/cream colour. The head is mainly black with the eyes and mouth being slightly yellow.

 

Banded Sea Snake

 

The sex of the animal depends on how big it will grow with males growing up to 75cm in length while the females can get up to 128cm long. The ends of their tails are flat to provide them with extra propulsion through the water.

 

Don't Be Afraid

 

Although the snakes possess highly toxic venom they are not aggressive towards scuba divers. They just continue on with their daily routine not really caring about the strange scuba diver staring at him. An old wives tail is that their fangs are too small to bite a person but this is not true but with the fangs are only a few cm long it means that they would find it difficult to penetrate a diver's exposure suit.

 

Just keep a little bit of distance as you swim with them as they glide over and inside the reefs going about their daily business. They only become aggressive if grabbed or pulled – just like you would so keep your hands to yourself!

 

Little Story

 

To show just how placid these creatures are, one time during a dive I was conducting from the open water course at our artificial house reef Junkyard a snake came to join us. My student at the time was performing a hover (a neutral buoyancy skill). The snake, which was extremely inquisitive decided to swim towards us and wrap itself around the girls leg for a rest. After a little time catching its breath the snake unwrapped itself and continued on its merry way minding its own business.

 

Funnily enough the student hadn't even noticed what had happened and couldn't believe what I told her! That's how gentle and calm it was!

 

The Life Of A Krait

 

Like their amphibious reptile cousins’ sea turtles and crocodiles, the sea snake has to swim to the surface at periods so they can get a breath before heading back underwater. They can hold their breath for long periods while they look for prey of eels and small fish, when they find some food they paralyze it through a bite and administering its venom.

 

Banded Sea Snake

 

Quite often they will be followed by other predators such as trevally who pick off other fish that are flushed out of the crevices that the snake enters. The banded sea krait spends a lot of time on land where it will digest its food, shed it skin and mate.

 

Enjoy

 

Quite a few people are scared of the thought of being close to a snake but fun diving with one will help break down that barrier. If planning a dive trip to Koh Tao be sure to ask the staff at Crystal Dive on which dive sites you are more likely to come across one if wishing to see a banded sea snake.

 

If you wish to learn more about invertebrates that exist underwater than you should consider taking the Underwater Naturalist Specialty Course next time you go scuba diving. Your PADI Instructor will teach you how and where to find different types of invertebrates.

 

Author: Neil Davidson (PADI MSDT #294100)

 

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..September 2015

 

Boat Diving
"Getting to know the correct terminology and parts of a boat is important for both new and experienced divers...."
30-09-2015
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The Barracuda
"In the waters off Koh Tao we see a few different types of Barracuda; Yellow Tail, Chevron and the Great Barracuda...."
28-09-2015
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A Knotty Problem
"Knots have been used by man since nearly the dawn of time. We have three core knots that are useful to know...."
26-09-2015
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The Final Test!
"The last bit of your paperwork is signed off by your mentor. You're a PADI Divemaster! But wait, there's one more test...."
24-09-2015
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Making A Splash!
"Making an entry into the water is a very easy skill to accomplish but you are given a lot of choices. Which one is the best?...."
22-09-2015
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Discover Snorkeling Koh Tao
"There are many ways to discover what hides beneath the surface of Koh Tao's waters, snorkeling being one of them...."
20-09-2015
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The Banded Sea Snake
"The Banded sea snake or krait is the most common sea snake in SE Asia and the only type that you will see in Koh Tao...."
17-09-2015
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Hovering
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience weightlessness? To defy gravity through a new world...."
15-09-2015
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The Importance Of Sharks
"Movies have portrayed the shark to be an animal that should be feared, but sharks are one of the most important creatures...."
08-09-2015
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Rescue Ready
"Do you feel like a competent diver? Ready for a new scuba diving challenge? If so, you can push your skills to a different level...."
06-09-2015
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A Divemaster's Day Off
"Working on the DM team you get two days off a fortnight; my first thought was "what can I do other than dive on Koh Tao?...."
03-09-2015
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The Most Influential Man In Scuba
"Jacques Cousteau is one of, if not the most influential person in the history of exploring the underwater realm...."
01-09-2015
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full News Archive >>>

 

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