Sea snake sinks teeth into swimming supper

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser
Sea snake munching on a fish as it swims off Gantheaume Point late last month. Photo: Laurie Jennings
Camera IconSea snake munching on a fish as it swims off Gantheaume Point late last month. Photo: Laurie Jennings Credit: Laurie Jennings

A lucky Broome visitor has quite a tale to tell after snapping a huge hungry serpent having lunch off Gantheaume Point.

Former resident Laurie Jennings, who now lives in Perth said he had come across the Stoke’s sea snake, trying to swallow a frogfish late last month on Friday, June 23.

“The snake was just laying on the surface, and had no intention of letting the fish go - the sea snake was quite large, I would guess over a metre long,” he said.

A Department of Fisheries spokesman said the snake was likely a common Stoke’s Sea Snake.

“It’s one of the more common species in the north-west and among the largest,” he said.

“Stokes also have a reputation of being one of the more grumpy sea snakes and are capable of delivering an effective bite if antagonised.”

“Many sea snakes have a very specialised diet and Stoke’s seems to pick on the frogfish, most photos of Stoke’s feeding show a frogfish being eaten.”

Aqua Broome marine scientist Danny Christensen said sea snakes taking their prey to the surface was a relatively common occurrence so they wouldn’t drown.

Sea snake taking a meal along for the ride as it swims off Gantheaume Point. Photo: Laurie Jennings
Camera IconSea snake taking a meal along for the ride as it swims off Gantheaume Point. Photo: Laurie Jennings Credit: Laurie Jennings

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