Venomous snakes wash up: Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

Published: October 20, 2015

Venomous snakes wash up: Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake, An “exotic, incredibly venomous” sea snake has been spotted along the Southern California coast, and a local environmental group said the creature was brought to shore courtesy of El Niño.

At least one yellow-bellied sea snake, which lives its entire life in the ocean, was recently spotted on a beach in the Oxnard area.

The reptile typically lives in warmer tropical waters, and its appearance is probably a harbinger of El Niño, the cyclical weather phenomenon connected to warmer sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, according to Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay

The snake sighting was highlighted by the nonprofit environmental advocacy group in a blog post on Friday.

“The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake has some of the most poisonous venom in the world, and is a descendant from Asian cobras and Australian tiger snakes,” stated the post by Heal the Bay’s senior coastal policy manager, Dana Murray.

It’s the first time since the early 1980s that the black-and-yellow snake has been seen in California, according to Heal the Bay. The last yellow-bellied sea snake sighted was also during an El Niño phase.

Two sightings were reported in Oxnard, but it wasn’t clear if they were of the same snake, Murray said in an email.

“No need to panic,” the organization said on its Facebook page, calling the snake “exotic” and “incredibly venomous.”

Anna Iker said she spotted a snake on Silver Strand Beach near Oxnard on Thursday. It was washed back out to sea, she said.


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