Leptotyphlopids are predominantly fossorial snakes. They are most commonly encountered by humans either during the course of digging operations (in some cases as far as 49 ft [15 m] beneath the surface) or after heavy rains have flooded them out of their subterranean retreats. No observations have been made on their burrowing behavior, but it is likely that they make extensive use of preexisting animal burrows and root systems when moving about underground. They can quickly burrow into loose soils such as sand, but they appear to lack the strength necessary to construct their own tunnels in compact soils.
Although these secretive snakes spend most of their lives underground, they do occasionally venture above ground during the evening hours to search for food or mates. When disturbed by potential predators during these above-ground excursions, they immediately attempt to escape into the ground. If this fails, however, they have several additional defensive strategies that they may implement. When restrained, they usually thrash about violently in an attempt to escape. If a snake cannot wiggle free from danger, it will jab its captor with its sharp tail spine and void the contents of its cloaca. As a last resort, some species will become rigid and fake death.
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