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False Blind Snakes: Anomochilidae

Physical Characteristics

False blind snakes are also known as dwarf pipe snakes because, at first glance, they look very much like small pipe snakes. Pipe snakes actually fall under a separate family, the Cylindrophiidae. The false blind snake has a short head and a short tail on either end of a tube-shaped body. In snakes, the tail is the portion of the body that begins at the vent, a crosswise opening on the belly side and toward the rear of a snake. On either side of the vent, these snakes have a tiny bit of bone that sticks out. These bones are called spurs and are seen in a few other snake families, including the boas.

Their backs are a dark reddish color blotched with yellowish white markings. The eyes and mouth in a false blind snake are small. In most snakes, the mouth opens at the very tip of the head, but in false blind snakes, it opens slightly before the end of the head. Both species in this family have seventeen to nineteen scale rows. In other words, if a person counted the number of scales in a straight line from the belly over the back the snake and back down to the belly, he or she would find seventeen to nineteen rows. The number of scales on the underside of the snake from front to back is between 222 and 252 in the false blind snake known as Anomochilus leonardi and between 236 and 248 in the snake Anomochilus weberi. The common name for both species is false blind snake. The short tail in both species only has six to eight scales on the underside.

Based on the specimens in museums, adult false blind snakes range from 8 to 14 inches (20 to 36 centimeters) in length. Scientists have studied only museum specimens rather than living snakes in the wild.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesFalse Blind Snakes: Anomochilidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, False Blind Snake (anomochilus Leonardi): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, FALSE BLIND SNAKES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS