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Brahminy Blind Snake
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


 

 

 

Family : TYPHLOPIDAE
Species : Ramphotyphlops braminus
Maximum Length : 20 cm

A very common, but rarely seen, species which spends much of its time burrowing in soil and leaf litter. They may be encountered when digging in soil, when turning over logs or rocks or after a heavy downpour when they are forced to the ground surface. This is one of the world's smallest snakes, rarely exceeding 20 cm in length.

The body is dark brown to black throughout. The head is barely discernible from the body, and the tiny eyes appear as black dots. Virtually blind this snake can, however, distinguish between light and dark. The tail is short and blunt and bears a short, sharp spine. The Brahminy Blind Snake feeds on small invertebrates, mainly ant larvae and pupae. The species is the only known parthenogenetic snake i.e. all specimens are female and reproduction is asexual.

The species ranges throughout Southeast Asia, and has populated other parts of the world including the Middle East, Africa and the U.S.


Fig 1  : A 12 cm specimen found in secondary forest in the Portsdown Road area, Singapore

Fig 2 : The tiny eyes are visible in this specimen found at surface after heavy rainfall, Singapore.


References : H1, H2