Hydrophis spiralis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Elapidae

Scientific Name: Hydrophis spiralis (Shaw, 1802)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Sea Snake
French Hydrophide-spirale
Hydrus spiralis Shaw, 1802
Leioselasma spiralis (Shaw, 1802)
Taxonomic Notes: This species has also been treated under the genus Leioselasma.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-15
Assessor(s): Rasmussen, A., Sanders, K., Lobo, A. & Gatus, J.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S.R., Elfes, C.T., Polidoro, B.A. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)
This species has a wide distribution and is common in some areas. It is captured as bycatch in trawl fisheries, but is it unknown if this is a major threat. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Arabian Gulf, east to Indonesia and the Philippines (Heatwole 1999). It has also been found in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands (Ineich and Rasmussen 1997).
Countries occurrence:
Bahrain; Bangladesh; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Kuwait; Malaysia; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Oman; Pakistan; Philippines; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; United Arab Emirates
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species was rarely caught as bycatch by trawlers in western Malaysia in 1989 (Stuebing and Voris 1990).

This species is common along the east coast of India, predominantly a species of the south and the east coasts (Gulf of Mannar, Palk and the Coromandel coast) (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009). Common in the Andaman Sea (A. Rasmussen pers. comm. 2009).

Fishermen report that the population appears to have declined along the east coast of India (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Little is known about the life history of this species. It has been reported to occur in deeper water habitats (Smith 1926) down to 50 m (A Lobo pers. comm. 2009). Found over muddy sandy bottoms, and feeds on eels.

In Pakistan, it has been collected offshore. It was not recorded from mangrove swamps (Minton 1966).

Records suggest that this species attain very large sizes of up to 2.75 m (Smith 1943). However, most specimens collected rarely ever even reach 2 m (A. Lobo pers. comm. 2009).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Skins were used in Viet Nam in the past until the 1980s (A. Rasmussen pers. comm. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is known to be caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries. It is not known how this might be affecting the population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species, but it may occur in marine protected areas.

No sea snake species is currently listed by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.5. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy-Mud
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.6. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Muddy

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Wearing apparel, accessories
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Guinea, M.L. 2007. Marine Snakes: Species Profile for the North-western Planning Area. Report for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.

Heatwole, H. 1999. Sea Snakes. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.

Ineich, I. and Rasmussen, A.R. 1997. Sea snakes from New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands (Elapidae, Laticaudinae and Hydrophiinae). Zoosystema 19(2-3): 185-191.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Leviton, A.E., Wogan, G.O.U., Koo, M.S., Zug, G.R., Lucas, R.S. and Vindum, J.V. 2003. The dangerously venomous snakes of Myanmar: illustrated checklist with keys. Procedings of the California Academy of Sciences 54(24): 407-462.

Minton, S.A. 1966. A contribution to the herpetology of West Pakistan. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 134: 27-184.

Smith, M.A. 1926. Monograph of the Sea Snakes (Hydrophiidae). British Museum, London.

Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, including the whole of the Indo-Chinese region. Vol. III. Serpentes. Taylor and Francis, London.

Stuebing, R. and Voris, H.K. 1990. Relative abundance of marine snakes on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Herpetology 24(2): 201-202.

Citation: Rasmussen, A., Sanders, K., Lobo, A. & Gatus, J. 2010. Hydrophis spiralis. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176717A7289307. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided