Puget Sound Sea Snakes?

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Well, not in the true scientific sense of the term. But we do have some unique garter snakes along our rocky beaches. As you see in the photos above these serpents dwell among the rocks and grass near the shore and readily plunge into the very cold salt water of the Sound. These ones were discovered just south of the Narrows bridge. I suspect they dine on small shore creatures during low tides.

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2 comments to Puget Sound Sea Snakes?

  • My short answer, Mike, is that I am not exactly sure. A species of sea snake (not Belcher’s) was seen washed up along the shore in California last January but it does not fit your description. Belcher’s and the rest of the sea snakes are warm water lovers. That, however, does not make your sighting of one impossible. Eels that are striped like you saw are primarily tropical species, and I’m not aware of any around here that are striped. The closest I can think would be one of the Kingsnakes. A couple of them, especially the California Mountain Kingsnake, range all the way into Canada. I posted a photo of a shot from the Peterson Field Guide, “Western Reptiles and Amphibians” for you to take a look at. Even that would be a surprise if you saw the reptile in considerable depth. But I can imagine one of them hunting along the sea shore similar to what the garter snakes are doing.

  • Mike

    So about 15 years ago I was diving at Titlow beach (Near the Narrows Bridge) and crossed paths with a black and white ringed (I could not tell if it was a sea snake or an eel. (I thought better of harassing it, or examining it more closely.) It was about 2 feet long and was marked more or less similarly to a Belcher’s Sea Snake. What was that?

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