Blackish Blind Snake (Anilios nigriscens)

When I lifted a rock, two adult blackish blind snakes (Anilios [Ramphotyphlops] nigriscens) were coiled underneath, quickly burying themselves deeper into the moist soil. I have only seen small blind snakes about 8 cm in length before, and I was surprised to see that these two were about four times as long and as thick. Blind snakes belong to the family Typhlopidae and are entirely fossorial, following the scents of ant and termite trails until the snakes reach a brood chamber. They have teeth on their upper jaw for scraping prey into their mouths, and I was lucky to see one of these snakes briefly open its mouth while I was handling it.

Blind snakes are adept at burrowing and have a sharp spine at the end of the tail, possibly for anchoring themselves in the substrate while digging with their flattened head. They have poor vision and rely mostly on olfactory cues, but retain two dark spots with simple light/dark perception.

Bandy-bandys (Vermicella annulata) specialize as predators of blind snakes, maybe even eating them exclusively. See my post on bandy-bandys to read more!


I also uncovered a juvenile, and I was able to take this in situ shot while it was moving through tunnels in the soil underneath plant roots.


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