Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Dinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles » Blind Snakes: Typhlopidae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Blackish Blind Snake (ramphotyphlops Nigrescens): Species Account - BLIND SNAKES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Blind Snakes: Typhlopidae - Blackish Blind Snake (ramphotyphlops Nigrescens): Species Account

australia publishing eat september

Physical characteristics: The blackish blind snake, also known as the English blind snake, has a dark back and lighter belly. The back may be black, purple, or pinkish brown, while the underside is pink or off-white. The vent may have a dark blotch on either side. The snout is short and rounded. Size ranges from 3.8 to 22.7 inches (9.7 to 57.6 centimeters) long, and the females are much larger than the males.


Geographic range: Blackish blind snakes live in the eastern half of Australia.


Habitat: People usually see these snakes while turning over rocks or other items in gardens, farm fields, or even in city lots. The snakes also live in similar hiding spots in the woods and along the coastline.

A single blackish blind snake can eat 1,500 ants or more at one sitting. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Blackish blind snakes eat ant larvae (LAR-vee) and pupae (PYU-pee), which are the stages in an ant's life between egg and juvenile. They will also eat worms and other small invertebrates once in a while. A single blackish blind snake can eat 1,500 ants or more at one sitting. The snakes usually only feed in the spring and summer.


Behavior and reproduction: Blackish blind snakes are a burrowing species that spends much of its time underground. Up to thirty members of the species sometimes group together to share a good spot under a stone or in some other hiding spot. After a heavy rain, blackish blind snakes may leave their burrows and slither about on the ground, sometimes even climbing into trees. This species mates in late spring, and the females lay five to twenty grape-sized eggs at a time in the summer.


Blackish blind snakes and people: People and these snakes generally leave one another alone.


Conservation status: The species is not listed as endangered or threatened. ∎

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books

Burnie, David, and Don Wilson, eds. The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. New York: DK Publishing, 2001.

Cogger, H. G. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Fifth ed. Ithaca, NY: Comstock Publishing Associates/Cornell University Press, 1994.

Ehmann, H., and M. J. Bamford. "Family Typhlopidae." In Fauna of Australia. Vol. 2A, Amphibia & Reptilia, edited by C. J. Glasby, G. J. B. Ross, and P. L. Beesley. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1993.

FitzSimons, V. F. M. Snakes of Southern Africa. Cape Town and Johannesburg: Purnell and Sons, 1962.

Grace, Eric, ed. Snakes. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books for Children, 1994.

Greer, A. E. The Biology and Evolution of Australian Snakes. Chipping Norton, New South Wales, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons, 1997.

Lee, Alfonso Silva. Coquí y sus amigos / Coquí and His Friends. Pangaea, Bilingual edition, 2000.

McDiarmid, R. W., J. A. Campbell, and T. A. Touré. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: Herpetologists' League, 1999.

Mehrtens, John M. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishing, 1987.

Schwartz, A., and R. W. Henderson. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1991.

Taylor, Barbara. Snakes. New York: Lorenz, 1998.

Web sites

"Blindsnake." Wild Kids. http://www.amonline.net.au/wild_kids/reptiles/blind_snake.htm (accessed on September 22, 2004).

"Blind Snakes, Family Typhlopidae." Australian Museum. http://www.livingharbour.net/reptiles/snakes_blind.htm (accessed on September 22, 2004).

"Blind Snakes (Family Typhlopidae: South-east Queensland." Queensland Museum Explorer. http://www.qmuseum.qld.gov.au/features/snakes/seq/typhlopidae.asp (accessed on September 23, 2004).

"Brahminy Blind Snake." Ohio Public Library Information Network. http://www.oplin.org/snake/fact%20pages/brahminy_blind/brahminy.html (accessed on September 22, 2004).

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