A Darwin snake catcher called out at two in the morning was shocked to find a rare and highly venomous sea krait hundreds of miles from its known habitat.
The capture marked the first verified sighting in the Northern Territory, and could indicate the krait - revered as a god by some Pacific Islanders - has begun colonising further south.
The yellow-lipped sea krait has more toxin than a Taipan and fangs equal to a death adder, but it does not often bite.
Unlike sea snakes, they are equally at home on land or at sea, and generally live around Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands.
Phil Mangin, a contract snake catcher, was called to Darwin's casino, where he found the serpent had already been bagged...