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Aipysurus laevis   Lacépède, 1804

olive-brown seasnake

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Aipysurus laevis  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Aipysurus laevis (olive-brown seasnake)
Aipysurus laevis
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Reptilia | Squamata | Hydrophiidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Reef-associated; depth range 3 - 50 m (Ref. 2352).  Tropical; 51°N - 58°S (Ref. 356)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Indo-Pacific, Northwest Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Tropical and subtropical climates.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 103.4, range 71 - 130 cm Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2357); common length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2357)

Short description Morphology

Cephalic plates are large, relatively regular (not very fragmented) and symmetrical, with constant partial fragmentation in parietal region. Parietal plates often split in two. Small notches are sometimes visible on the forehead. There often or always seems to be a small median scale between frontal and prefrontal plates in new Caledonian populations. Eyes are separated from supralabials by a row of subocular scales, which are actually larger than the supralabials. Some anterior supralabials that are quite expanded dorso-ventrally can come in direct contact with the eyes. First pair of infralabials touches the posterior part of the mental plate. Midbody body scales (21 to 25 in a row) are smooth and overlapping - these scales have smaller diffuse blunted tubercles. Ventral scales (135 to 155 scales) are much wider than adjacent scales. They are slightly imbricate posteriorly with a median keel that is not always visible. Anal keel is divided, with a relatively prominent keel on each half (Ref. 2357, 2355). Has highly variable coloration and patterns. Adults are commonly solid grey to olive grey with small orangey-brown area in the anterior head region. Juveniles are greyish brown with fine ring-shaped vertical white undulated barring. Anterior orangey brown area is visible at birth. Body coloration turns from brown to predominantly grey and the rings gradually fade with age. Several creamy white or darkly spotted scales are scattered over the body. Brown body scales are often dark in the middle, giving rise to faint longitudinal streaks. Tail is brown or relatively pale and uniform in color (Ref. 2352). Fangs may be 0.7 cm long (Ref. 88063).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Maximum and common lengths also from Ref. 2352. Found along seabeds but prefers coral reefs and can rarely be observed in outer reef slopes (Ref. 2353). It is a generalist feeder, swallowing prey found near the seabed (Ref. 2360) and feeds on several species of reef fish in size range, 3 to 15 cm, including small snappers (Lutjanus lutjanus and Lutjanus kasmira), catfish (Plotosus lineatus), red-barred shrimp (possibly Stenopus hispidus). Especially active at night and tends to attack anything bright and moving. It is a relatively curious and unaggressive snake but can be dangerous (Ref. 2352). Females are larger than males and are potentially more dangerous because of higher venom yield (Ref. 2359). Preyed upon by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). Females are larger than males (Ref. 2359). Australia: It is a viviparous snake, which bears 1 to 5 large offspring, with an average of 3 offspring (Ref. 2357, 2355). Gestation period is around 9 months and only 50% of females seem to be gravid at the same time (biennial reproduction), suggesting that a full year is required for adipose tissue renewal (Ref. 2361). Reproduces throughout the year. One or even more males with frenzied appearance than usual start protruding and retracting their tongues very rapidly every time they meet. Become more frenzied when they encounter a receptive female, which also protrudes and retracts its tongue. Chosen male and receptive female coil and uncoil together. During mating, couple completely wraps and coils together while male hits the female's nape several times with its head (Ref. 2352).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Females are larger than males (Ref. 2359). Australia: It is a viviparous snake, which bears 1 to 5 large offspring, with an average of 3 offspring (Ref. 2357, 2355). Gestation period is around 9 months and only 50% of females seem to be gravid at the same time (biennial reproduction), suggesting that a full year is required for adipose tissue renewal (Ref. 2361). Reproduces throughout the year. One or even more males with frenzied appearance than usual start protruding and retracting their tongues very rapidly every time they meet. Become more frenzied when they encounter a receptive female, which also protrudes and retracts its tongue. Chosen male and receptive female coil and uncoil together. During mating, couple completely wraps and coils together while male hits the female's nape several times with its head (Ref. 2352).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Ineich, I. and P. Laboute. 2002. (Ref. 2352)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 15 February 2009

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses


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More information

Countries
FAO areas
Ecosystems
Occurrences
Introductions
Stocks
Ecology
Diet
Food items
Common names
Synonyms
Predators
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 23 - 28.8, mean 27.4 (based on 608 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Moderate to high vulnerability (45 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown