Hydrophis platurus xanthos, the Golfo Dulce yellow sea snake, is separated from its conspecifics by a gap greater than 21.5 kilometers—restricted to the inner basin where the relatively warm waters are often turbulent and occasionally anoxic. This unique subspecies is characterized by smaller body size, canary-colored skin and distinctive behaviors. Most remarkably, it feeds at night, assuming a peculiar sinusoidal ambush posture (Bessesen & Galbreath 2017).

Peer Reviewed

Bessesen BL, GJ Galbreath. 2017. A new subspecies of sea snake, Hydrophis platurus xanthos, from Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. ZooKeys 686: 109–123. [link]

Bessesen, B. L. 2012. Geospatial and behavioral observations of a unique xanthic colony of pelagic sea snakes, Pelamis platurus, residing in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Herpetological Review 43:22–26. [link]

Kropach, C. 1975. The yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis, in the Eastern Pacific. In W. Dunson (ed.), The Biology of Sea Snakes, pp. 185–213.University Park Press, Maryland. [no link available]

Lillywhite, H.B., C.M. Sheeny III, F. Brischoux, and J.B. Pfaller. 2015. On the Abundance of a Pelagic Sea Snake. Journal of Herpetology 49(2):184-189. [link]

Lomote, B., D. Pla, M. Sasa, W-C. Tsai, A. Solórzano, J. M Ureña-Díaz, M.L. Fernández-Montes, D. Mora Obando, L. Sanz. 2014. Two color morphs of the pelagic yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura, from different locations of Costa Rica: Snake venomics, toxicity, and neutralization by antivenom. Journal of Proteomics 103: 137-152 [link]

Sheehy III, C.M., A. Solórzano, J.B. Pfaller, and H.B. Lillywhite. 2012. Preliminary Insights into the Phylogeography of the Yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Pelamis platurus. Integrative and Comparative Biology 52:321–330. [link]

Solórzano, A. 2011. Variación de color de la serpiente marina Pelamis platura (Serpentes: Elapidae) en el Golfo Dulce, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Cuadernos de Investigación UNED 3:15–22. [link]

Other Links

Golfo Dulce da vida a nueva serpiente marina. La Nación 2017. [link]

Serpiente venenosa atrae las miradas por su piel amarilla. La Nación 2013. [link]