Are There Snakes in Hawaii? Turns Out Yes But Special


Are there snakes in Hawaii? Technically, there are no native snakes… on land. But there are a local species in Hawaiian waters.

Bright yellow and black, Hawaii’s Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake measures about 30 inches long and swims in the warm coastal waters. It’s strictly non-terrestrial.

  • Bites from the Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake are so rare that the Waikiki Aquarium couldn’t find even one report of anybody in Hawaii being bitten by one.
  • Anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 miles of ocean separate Hawaii’s islands from the nearest landmass. That’s too far for most animals to travel.
  • Hawaiians are incredibly vigilant about keeping out any snakes who try to visit. Local authorities work hard to capture the ones that’ve somehow made their way into the state.
  • Take Guam as an example – invasive snakes devasted the bird population, eating up as many as 10 of the 12 known avian species there.
  • But sometimes the person who brought the snake isn’t a criminal – it can happen by accident.
  • There is an amnesty program that lets you turn in any snakes you happen to possess and with no penalty!
  • In 2018, the state’s Department of Agriculture invited 4 brown tree snakes to come and live in Hawaii.
  • These snakes are working hand in hand or … well … together with the DoA in a big game of “Hide and Seek.” By hiding and waiting, they help train dogs to sniff them out.
  • Also, there’s one snake that’s so common, your chances of seeing him are pretty high. These guys are so tiny that most people mistake them for worms!
  • They’re almost blind, but they can recognize light. Also, they’re not venomous, so no danger here!


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