Aipysurus laevis: its venom is immeasurably powerful

Aipysurus laevis or golden sea snake, lives in depths ranging from 10 to 40 meters, but its presence has been recorded up to 68 meters deep

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Aipysurus laevis: its venom is immeasurably powerful

Aipysurus laevis or golden sea snake, lives in depths ranging from 10 to 40 meters, but its presence has been recorded up to 68 meters deep. It loves the areas around coral reefs and adapts to living in different types of habitats.

It can be found both on the crests of the coral reef and in the slopes, but also in the sandy bottoms adjacent to the rocks and in the lagoon areas. Unlike other sea snakes such as the Laticauda colubrina, it has a very wide and varied diet.

This sea snake feeds on more than 12 different species of fish, and also eats fish eggs, cuttlefish, shrimp, crabs and shellfish. Aipysurus laevis usually hunts in the rocky crevices found between coral walls and sandy bottoms.

For hunting, it never goes into open water. It uses its poison to neutralize and liquefy prey. The venom of the brown olive sea snake contains enzymes that affect and destroy the muscles and nerves of its victims to make them more digestible.

These sea snakes have a mild and docile character but are very curious towards humans. They obviously bite if harassed, especially during the breeding season when attacks on people are more frequent.

Its venom

The venom of the brown olive sea snake is neurotoxic, with an intravenous LD50 of 0.15 mg / kg.

This poison also contains myotoxins which can create alterations to the muscles. The bite of this sea snake generally does not create local symptoms. Even if there has been a transfer of poison, there are usually no redness, bruises, blisters or other visible signs in the bite area.

The pain is also very minimal. If after 8 hours you do not feel any symptoms, then most likely the poison was not injected. The bite of the brown sea olive snake can lead to death or not cause any problems, it all depends on the amount of venom injected.

While we have no reliable data on the mortality rate from this sea snake bite, this should be quite low, below 3%. If you are bitten by an Aipysurus laevis, since we cannot assess the severity of the poisoning, it is good to go to the hospital immediately.

In the meantime, do not cut or suck the wound and avoid putting creams or ointments in it. Apply a pressure bandage as soon as possible to slow down lymphatic circulation. Splint the affected limb and try to keep it as still as possible.

There is an antidote to sea snake venom and it must be administered in a hospital. Depending on the level of poisoning, multiple doses may be necessary, in addition to the support of artificial respiration.