The black-banded sea krait spends the majority of its time in the water, but ventures onto land to mate, digest food, rest and lay eggs (10) (11). This species is active during the day (12). Its breeding activity is highest between August and November. Females lay three to seven eggs, depending on the length of their body, in large coral caves. The eggs are half submerged in water and hatch after around four to five months (3).
One of the most remarkable details about the black-banded sea krait is that despite its highly toxic venom (4) (5) (8) (9) (13) it has a very mild nature (12) (13). Even when being held loosely by researchers, most of the snakes preferred to wriggle to try and escape rather than bite, and even when held tightly the snakes only responded with slow and delayed attacks (13). Amazingly, because of this fishermen will handle the black-banded sea krait freely, without fear (8).
Like many other snakes, the black-banded sea krait eats large meals infrequently (14). It preys on a variety of fish that live among the coral (10), with differences in fish preference between juveniles and adults (14). Male and female black-banded sea kraits also tend to prey upon different species of fish (14). To catch its prey the black-banded sea krait swims near the bottom of the reef, flicking its tongue to smell prey and sticking its head into crevices where fish could be hiding. Once the prey is found it is bitten, injecting the snake’s venom, and is usually swallowed quickly, head first (7).
Predators of the black-banded sea krait include carnivorous mammals such as the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata), which has been known to catch the snakes when they venture onto land (10). Like other sea snakes, the black-banded sea krait may also face predation from animals such as sharks and seabirds (9) (15). In addition, the snakes can become infested by ticks and small marine organisms that try to grow on them, which the snakes can counter by shedding their skin (7).