Stuff I’ve seen
The yellow lipped sea krait, Laticauda colubrina, is the most common of sea krait species, however they are still a relatively uncommon sight in the waters off Tioman. In my time here I have seen only 3 and last week saw the biggest one of these hunting over the staghorn coral off Pulau Tulai.
So these amphibious reptiles spend the majority of their time in the water, popping up every now and again to take a breath of air. They have laterally flattened paddle like tails, an adaptation which allows them to move through the water with ease. They also have valves on their nostrils so they can close them when they dive. Although they are well adapted to their ocean lives they do also come up onto land. Unlike most sea snakes, that are viviparous, the female yellow lipped krait lays around 4-20 eggs per nest buried in the vegetation on small islands. They also come onto land to shed their skins, digest food, or to just have a little rest.
The venom of a yellow lipped sea krait is neurotoxic and is ten times more lethal than that of it’s terrestrial cousins the rattle snake or black mamba. But luckily enough sea kraits are pretty chilled out and non-aggressive so it’s no problem floating at a safe distance watching them go about their business.