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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Reptilia > shore snakes
Marbled sea snake
Aipysurus eydouxii
Family Elapidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This attractively-patterned snake was seen once on the sand bar of Chek Jawa in the early morning. It looked like it was stranded there at low tide. It is considered uncommon and usually found in coastal areas and estuaries. It is also known as the Spine-tailed seasnake.

Features: About 1m long. A fat cylindrical body, with large rounded scales. It is also called the Beaded sea snake and Olive sea snake. It has a small head with rather large eyes. Like other sea snakes, it has a flattened paddle-shaped tail used like an oar to swim with, and valved nostrils which it can close when submerged. A venomous snake, it will NOT bite unless disturbed. There are apparently no records of this snake biting a human. In any case, it has tiny fangs. When stressed, it may instead writhe and turn upside down. Possibly pretending to be a dead or sick snake? Which is another reason why we should not touch even seemingly dead snakes.

What does it eat? It is said to eat only fish eggs.

Marbled babies: Mama snake bears live young.

Chek Jawa, Aug 02

Writhing and turning upside down.
Chek Jawa, Aug 02

Chek Jawa, Aug 02

Marbled sea snakes on Singapore shores

Photos of Marbled sea snakes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Beting Bronok, Jun 10
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Beting Bronok, Aug 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Beting Bronok, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Changi, May 13
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

  • Marbled Sea Snake on Nick Baker's EcologyAsia website: fact sheet with photos.
  • Volume 6: Sea snakes by A. R. Rasmussen, edited by Kent E. Carpenter and Volker H. Niem FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) website (pdf).
  • Aipysurus eydouxii on the IUCN Red List.
  • Injured Marbled sea snake at Chek Jawa on wild shores of singapore blog.


  • Noel Thomas & Francis L. K. Lim. 7 February 2014. Beaded sea-snake (Aipysurus eydouxii) at Pulau Ubin. 7 Feb 2014. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 38-39.
  • Ron K. H. Yeo. 21 February 2014. Beaded sea-snake (Aipysurus eydouxii) at Changi Beach. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 50
  • Lim, Kelvin K. P. & Francis L K Lim, 1992. A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of SingaporeSingapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Stuebing, Robert B and Robert F. Inger. 1999. A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo Natural History Publications (Borneo). 254 pp.
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