We spotted this Stokes’ sea snake (Astrotia stokesii) swimming near the surface off Cable Beach today, with what seemed to be a broken back. Whilst still able to stay afloat, the snake displayed difficulty in submerging or turning over, and was probably the victim of a boating accident. Stokes’ sea snake is amongst the largest and bulkiest of all sea snakes, reaching two metres in length and 26 cm in girth. Young snakes, such as this one, have between 28–34 transverse dark centred ellipses along the back with narrower black bars or a pattern of blotches between the ellipses.
The snakes are able to dive for between 30 minuets and two hours between breaths, and are known to be aggressive.