I’M REALLY TIRED OF THE MISINFORMATION ABOUT SNAKES ON THE WEB. Google is NOT a good source for snake identification at all. One good example of this is if you look up “Hydrophis belcheri” on Google. This sea snake (for some odd reason) was believed to be the most venomous snake on the planet, surpassing the inland taipan. This is totally baseless, untrue and isn’t represented in any literature. Their I.M. LD50 doesn’t even approach the inland taipan (which has an LD50 of 0.025 mg/kg), at 0.155 mg/kg (which, admittedly, is incredibly strong regardless).
This, however, is not the worst part of the misinformation surrounding this snake. The worst is a case of constant misidentification. Searching up “Hydrophis belcheri” on google brings you this
That is not Hydrophis belcheri
Not even fucking close
That is a sea krait
They’re completely different than sea snakes
Now everyone who googles this supposedly “super deadly snake” is gonna come up with sea krait pictures. Though sea kraits are highly venomous, they are incredibly friendly, completely uninclined to bite and are even less toxic than H. belcheri. Sea kraits also differ from sea snakes in the fact that they are amphibious, while sea snakes are strictly aquatic.
In reality, Hydrophis belcheri doesn’t remotely resemble sea kraits; they’re called ‘faint banded sea snakes’ for a reason. And the last time i checked, the completely solid black stripes on sea kraits are not ‘faint.’ Below is a picture of a true Hydrophis belcheri captured off of the coast of Thailand. They are found in Indonesian waters and their range is said to possibly extend to Australia.
Much different than the sea krait, amiright?
Misinformation about these beautiful creatures needs to stop. It leads to ignorance and fear of what these animals truly are, which is majestic, peaceful and spectacular. This sea snake is part of the macrocephalic group in the Hydrophis genus, feeding mostly on fish and eels. The reason sea snakes are so venomous is that they need to immobilize prey quickly. Remember: sea snakes are still air breathers. They are, like all other sea snakes (with the exception of Enhydrina schistosa, Lapemis curtus and Aipysurus laevis), incredibly friendly and extremely reluctant to bite. Those bitten by sea snakes are usually fisherman who have to deal with bycatch or untangle them from the nets. This unfortunately leads into both poaching of sea snakes and rhinos. Some people in Asia believe that putting rhino’s horn onto a sea snake bite will draw out the venom. The people who believe this catch these amazing sea snakes in large numbers (often illegally) for food markets all across Asia. They also, more often than not (regardless of if they used the rhino’s horn or not), die from the bites they receive from improperly handling these animals. This totally asinine beliefs leads more rhinos to be needlessly killed. This trend of misinformation needs to be halted IMMEDIATELY. CONSERVATION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY; MISINFORMATION IS DANGEROUS