Beaked Blind Snake

Beaked Blind Snake / Myriopholis macrorhyncha / ثعبان أعمى مدبب الأنف

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Status: Unknown

The Beaked Blind Snake belongs to the Leptotyphlopidae family in the Ophidia (snakes) sub-order of the order Squamata (scaled reptiles). It is one of three wormlike snake species present in Palestine, reaching a maximum total length (body + tail) of 30 cm. The Beaked Blind Snake spends most of its life underground, burrowing in soil and into ants' nests. Over eons of evolution it has effectively lost its eyesight, its eyes are poorly developed and are covered by skin, and it barely has enough of its vision left to distinguish light from dark. This is of course the source of the term "blind snake"; it is also known by another common name, worm snake, due to its resemblance to a worm. This species has a crooked mouth which resembles a beak when viewed in profile, this being the source of the specific name. The color of the Beaked Blind Snake is always some shade of pink, usually light pink. The diet of the Beaked Blind Snake consists of ant eggs, larvae and pupae, and perhaps also of termite eggs, larvae and pupae. They are often found under rocks near or inside the tunnels of ant or termite nests. It is oviparous (the young hatch from eggs), but this is the only knowledge regarding its reproduction. Its resemblance to worms probably protects the Beaked Blind Snake from persecution by humans, since it is seldom identified as a snake. The Beaked Blind Snake inhabits parts of the Middle East.

Conservation status – least concern (LC).

In Palestine – Appears, but not common, in most semi-arid ("semi-desert") habitats.

Sites: Wadi Al-Quff nature reserve