Philippine freshwater sea snake/Garman's sea snake

Garmans Sea SnakeHydrophis semperi

This is a rare species of venomous sea snake found only in a single lake on the island of Luzon. They are known to be found only in the waters of Taal Lake in the Province of Batangas. This is the only freshwater sea snake in the Philippines. It lives entirely of its life within the confines of the lake where it feeds and proliferates. Just like other true sea snakes, this species feeds primarily on the numerous fish species that are known to dwell in Taal Lake’s murky water. Threats to this species are fish pens for cultivation of tilapia that cause pollution and fish kill due to nutrient loading. Other threats include habitat loss and decline in habitat quality from pollution (e.g. agricultural pesticides, and sewage due to coastal development).


This species is rather heavyset, elongated with a small head. It has a paddle-like tail, flattened found in the member of its subfamily. Compared to the rest of the family, this species is considered short; adult specimen ranges from 50-70cm in length. Coloration is like in a typical sea snake with dark blue or black body with alternating yellow bands encircling the body.