- Scientific name:
- Hydrophis platurus
- Common name:
- yellow-bellied sea-snake
- Naming authority:
- (Linnaeus, 1766)
- Bio status category:
- Indigenous (Non-endemic)
- IUCN threat status:
- Lower Risk: least concern
- NZ threat classification:
- Not Threatened
Refer to www.doc.govt.nz/nztcs for NZ threat classification system details.
- Tropical oceans.
- Upper half of the body dark; lower half yellowish.
- The two colours usually meet abruptly to form a straight line along each side.
- Long head.
- Belly scales similar size to other body-scales.
- Tail compressed sideways to form a paddle; yellowish with large dark spots.
- Measures up to 1 m in total length.
- Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- Relatively regular visitor to northern New Zealand, and occasionally found as far south as Taranaki, Wairarapa coast and Nelson.
- The most widely distributed of all sea-snakes.
- The scientific name means 'flat-tailed'.
- Venomous snake.
- Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
- 2012): No records of this species breeding in NZ, but info on sea temperature requirements and ecology suggests they are resident and likely to breed around the Kermadecs.
Statistical information and distribution map
|Before 1988||Since 1988|
Live or dead specimen or shed skin
Bone or fossil