Behavior

The natural behavior of typhlopids is poorly known. Because these small snakes spend most of their lives hidden underground, much of what is known about their behavior derives from observations of the defensive strategies that they implement when they are unearthed by humans. When first exposed, most blindsnakes immediately endeavor to burrow into the soil. If captured, they attempt to escape by frantically thrashing their bodies back and forth, defecating, and voiding the contents of their anal glands. In addition, in many instances the apical tail spine is jabbed forcefully into the captor's skin. No blindsnakes are known to bite in defense, but some will gape widely when restrained, and a small number of Rhinotyphlops and Ramphotyphlops have been reported to emit faint squeaking sounds when handled roughly.

One additional aspect of typhlopid behavior that has been noted with some frequency is the tendency of these snakes to congregate in relatively large groups. This phenomenon, which has also been reported for several leptotyphlopid taxa, has been documented in numerous species of Ramphotyphlops and Typhlops, and may be common among other typhlopids as well. In some instances, more than 20 snakes have been found coiled together beneath a single stone. These congregations do not appear to be related to reproduction, as they usually include both juveniles and adults. Instead, they appear to result from multiple individuals seeking out and utilizing the same favorable microhabitat.

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