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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
White-bellied Blind Snake
   
   

Fig 1
 


Fig 2
 


Fig 3
 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family : TYPHLOPIDAE
Species : Argyrophis muelleri
Maximum Length : 48 cm

Also known as Mueller's Blind Snake, this uncommonly found species of blind snake is overwhelmingly fossorial (burrowing) in habits. It rarely comes to the surface, but spends its entire life burrowing in tropical soils or in decaying logs in areas of primary forest or secondary growth

Its colour and patterning is unmistakable comprising a two-tone pattern of brownish black or dark olive-brown upperside, and cream to white underside. The boundary between the dark and light colouration is well defined.

The body is thick and cylindrical, and the scales smooth. The head is the same width as the body, with a blunt snout, which can be pushed into firm soil with remarkable force for such a small snake.

The tail possesses a sharp, terminal spine. As with other blind snakes the eyes are rudimentary and probably serve to simply distinguish light from dark.

The species feeds on small invertebrates - probably soft-bodied insect larva and possibly small earthworms.

The White-bellied Blind Snake occurs in Burma, Thailand and Indochina through to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, as well as the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.


Fig 1 : A handsome specimen from Singapore.

Fig 2 : Active amongst leaf litter.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the simple eyes and blunt snout.


References : H1, H2, H3