Sea Snakes Hunt in Groups

Olive sea snake. Photo by Teddy Fotiou.
Olive sea snake. Photo by Teddy Fotiou.

Sea snakes are among the most venomous snakes in the world. Yet, for the most part, they are not a threat to humans. In fact, scuba divers can often grab a handful of writing sea snakes without negative repercussions, although such actions are not recommended.

However, if you’re a fish on a coral reef, and you’re reading this article, you should probably be very worried about sea snakes. Sea snakes are often seen alone, but some species are known to hunt in groups.

In tropical waters around the world, coral reefs provide shelter for many small fish. Because of they do, many big predators also inhabit coral reefs, and they hungrily search for the small, vulnerable fish. For the most part, the small fish can successfully hide from predators within the crevices and caves around the reefs, but when sea snakes congregate in groups, all bets are off.

If the sea snakes were the only predators on the reef, the small fish might have a chance at escape, but alas, they do not. Ravenous schools of goatfish and trevally gather behind the sea snakes to devour whatever fish slip past them.

In the video below, a huge group of black banded kraits scour a coral reef, flushing small fish out of hiding.