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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Leaf-scaled Sea Snake Aipysurus foliosquama

This fish-eating snake has one of the most restricted ranges of any sea snake, being confined to a group of remote coral reefs about 185 miles (300 km) off the northwest coast of Australia. It is marked with contrasting bands or rings and gets its name from the characteristic shape of its dorsal scales. It lives in shallow water and rarely dives deeper than about 33 ft (10 m). Although venomous, it is rarely aggressive. Female leaf-scaled sea snakes are larger than the males and give birth to live young.

Leaf-scaled Sea Snake habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Squamata
  • Length Up to 2 ft (60 cm)
  • Weight Up to 1 lb (0.5 kg)
  • Habitat Coral reefs and coral sand banks
  • Distribution Timor Sea (Ashmore and Hibernia reefs)