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Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

New York City, New...
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Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

I saw a yellow with black spots looking creature slithering along rocks while snorkeling at Kapalua Bay and was wondering if it is likely an eel or a snake.

The body looked snake-like not flat an wavy like a typical eel so I thought it could be a sea snake. Is that possible and are they typically found in Maui?

It was pretty interesting, but I got out of the water right away because I wasn't sure what it was and if it is dangerous.

Edited: 8:30 pm, November 01, 2011
Edmonds, Washington
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1. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Saw something similar at Honolua. Snake-eel is what we came up with a little research. Like most things in the water, fairly harmless unless provoked.

Edited: 8:52 pm, November 01, 2011
Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Check out this website.

www.marinelifephotography.com/default.htm

There are great photos of all the critters we see while snorkeling on Maui. Look under "eels" there is one like you describe.

Oahu, Hawaii
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3. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Aloha,

No sea snakes in Hawaii

Aloha

Kapaa, Hawaii
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4. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

If you look at pictures of eels, they really aren't flat. They can be rather round. Hawaii does have some rare sea snake like creatures but you won't see them snorkeling. Odds are what you saw was some kind of moray eel. They aren't dangerous unless you stick your fingers in their mouths!!

Edited: 9:18 pm, November 01, 2011
La Costa, California
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5. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

We saw a moray eel at Kapalua Bay a couple months ago that was spotted. He wasn't huge. He swam down in the coral and would stick his head out kinda like this guy :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGUvKpw79r4

Here's a yellow one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgHzJ_KCAuc

Edited: 9:33 pm, November 01, 2011
Oahu, Hawaii
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6. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Aloha,

Found some info for you

explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/…20snakes.htm

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Hey everyone...thanks for all the information....very resourceful.

Stracci 2000-gonna use that link to label some of my photos.

Glad to know there aren't any sea snakes in Maui. I thought to myself...here I am looking out for turtles and fish and there's what could be a snake in the water.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

There is one sea snake found in Hawai'i. It is rare.

Yellow Bellied Sea Snake.

Venomous, very, but not aggressive, don't think a bite has been recorded here.

There is a story of one barely alive that washed up on a Maui beach:

susanscott.net/OceanWatch1999/jan18-99.html

It looks like this:

wild-facts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/13…

If you saw one that would be extraordinary.

Edmonds, Washington
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9. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

Wife reminded me that we saw a smaller one at Slaughterhouse and larger one at Honolua. Bodies are more cylindrical than an eel and they move more like snake.

marinelifephotography.com/fishes/eels/snake-…

Edited: 4:55 am, November 02, 2011
southeast PA
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10. Re: Eel or Sea Snake at Kapalua Bay???

As already said, unless you're trying to get bit by a sea snake or an eel, you're safe. :) they're much more afraid of you than you are of them