can snakes bite under water

Can Snakes Bite Underwater?

Snakes are infamous reptiles known for their signature long, slim and scaly body and sharp venomous fangs. Many people wonder whether they can bite while they are underwater.

How Snakes Breathe

Snakes do not have lungs like humans do. Instead they have a two-chambered, air sac lung that allows them to
breath underwater. This also allows them to stay underwater longer than most other animals, making them extremely good swimmers.

Do Snakes Bite Underwater?

Yes, snakes can strike underwater, although their effectiveness is severely limited. Because of their limited lung capacity, underwater bites usually require them to surface to grab more air. Even then, their effective striking range is still very limited in water, as the habitat provides them with less leverage to launch their strike powerfully.

Which Snakes can Bite Underwater?

There are several species of underwater-dwelling snakes that are capable of biting underwater. These include:

  • Cobras – one of the few venomous snakes able to deliver a powerful strike underwater.
  • Water snakes – a family of non-venomous aquatic snakes with downward-curved spines, making them well adapted for swimming underwater.
  • Sea snakes – a family of venomous aquatic snakes, best adapted for swimming and hunting underwater.

The ability of these species to bite underwater makes them highly dangerous predators in their respective underwater habitats.


In conclusion, snakes are able to bite underwater, but their effectiveness is significantly limited due to their reduced lung capacity. The most common underwater-biting snakes include cobras, water snakes and sea snakes, which should be respected for their underwater prowess and danger.

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