Rare Venomous Sea Snake Discovered in Iranian Coastal Waters

Posted on October 10, 2016

Gunthers Sea Snake head

Scientists have discovered that a rare venomous sea snake (Günther's sea snake) has a broader distribution than previously thought. The snake has now been found in Iranian coastal waters off the western Gulf of Oman. This is over 400 kilometers away from the westernmost boundary of its previously known range.

The Günther's sea snake (Microcephalophis cantoris) is named after Albert Günther, the British zoologist who discovered it in 1864. The snake is also known as a Günther's narrow/small-headed sea snake because it has a very small head, compared to its body.

Gunthers Sea Snake

An adult Günther's sea snake was caught by a fishing trawler in Iranian coastal waters off the western Gulf of Oman during a survey. This was the first record of the rare sea snake in the region. A research paper on the discovery was published here in ZooKeys.

Photos: Mohsen Rezaie-Atagholipour

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