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Upper torso of a sur-snake

Sur-snake swimming

A sur-snake


A stunned sur-snake on the ocean floor

The sur-snake was a poisonous aquatic creature native to the planet Argo. The source of the sur-snake's poison was from a venom shot from its mouth. It was noted for having dual respiratory systems, both lungs and gills, and a similar skeletal structure to that of the Denebian whale.

Despite its poisonous nature, the sur-snake's venom was used in 2269 to reverse the surgo-op procedure, a mutation Spock and James T. Kirk underwent that transformed them into water-breathers. (TAS: "The Ambergris Element")

In the novelization of the story included in Star Trek Log 5, one of the Aquans referred to the sur-snake as a cpheryhm-aj.
The entry on Argo in Shane Johnson's The Worlds of the Federation gives the alternate name of the duitra to the sur-snake and notes that the capture of specimens is prohibited by the natives of Argo. Alan Dean Foster's novelization blames this last on the Aquans's hate and fear of aerobic beings, noting that its poison was needed to reverse the surgo-op mutation procedure.

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