Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Laticauda colubrina
Common name:
yellow-lipped sea krait
Naming authority:
Schneider, 1799
Bio status category:
Indigenous (Non-endemic)
IUCN threat status:
Lower Risk: least concern
NZ threat classification:

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

yellow-lipped sea krait. Photo: AH Whitaker.
yellow-lipped sea krait


  • In its usual range this species is partly terrestrial, often occurring among rocks near the shore, or in mangrove swamps some distance inland.
  • Largely nocturnal.


  • Bluish-grey above, yellowish below, with about 35 prominent black bands.
  • Head small and blunt.
  • Row of broad scales along belly, more than half the width of the body.
  • Tail compressed sideways to form a paddle.


  • India, South-east Asia, New Guinea, Australia and Pacific Islands.
  • Rare visitor to New Zealand.


  • First recorded in New Zealand in 1880.

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 4 3
Dead Specimen 1 2
Total 5 5

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

yellow-lipped sea krait Distribution Map.'
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