The terrestrial life of sea kraits: insights from a long-term study on two Laticauda species (Reptilia: Squamata: Elapidae) in the Andaman Islands, India

Main Article Content

Zoya Tyabji
Nitya Prakash Mohanty
Erina Young
Tasneem Khan


Sea kraits forage in water and return to land to digest their prey, mate, slough, and lay their eggs.  The temporal terrestrial patterns in encounter rate and behaviour of two species of sea kraits Laticauda colubrina and L. laticaudata were studied over four years at the New Wandoor beach in the southern Andaman Islands.  The encounter rate of L. colubrina was found to be 20 times higher than L. laticaudata, and sea kraits were observed to prefer the natural refuge that the microhabitat of uprooted trees provide.  Additionally, nesting observations are presented that emphasize the need to promote the conservation of these crucial terrestrial habitats.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Zoya Tyabji, Andaman Nicobar Environment Team, North Wandoor, South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Island 744103, India

Zoya Tyabji is a researcher working on elasmobranchs and coral reef and associated fauna in the Andaman Islands, India. She is currently affiliated with Andaman Nicobar Environment Team and Wildlife Conservation Society.  

Nitya Prakash Mohanty, Andaman Nicobar Environment Team, North Wandoor, South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Island 744103, India; Present address: Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), Department of Botany & Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa

Nitya Prakash Mohanty is a researcher working on biological invasions, and behavioural ecology of herpetofauna. He is currently pursuing a PhD from the Center of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB), Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Nitya is a Ravi Sankaran Fellow and recipient of the M. Krishnan Natural History Writing Award.  

Erina Young, School of Vet and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Murdoch University, Murdoch 6150, Australia

 Erina Young is currently enrolled in a PhD program where she is studying sea turtle health in Western Australia at Murdoch University in collaboration with the State Government Conservation agency (Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions). She has a background in veterinary science specializing in wildlife and is a locum veterinarian at Perth Zoo.  

Tasneem Khan, Founding partner, EARTH CoLab science, design and learning LLP, Indiranagar, Bangalore, 560038, India

Tasneem Khan is a biologist, educator, photographer and sailor with a fascination for the natural world. Her formal training in marine zoology; experience with field research management and practice in the development of experiential learning pedagogies has resulted in her co-founded initiative ‘EARTH CoLab’.