Distribution

Slender blindsnakes have a relatively wide geographical distribution, ranging throughout the Ethiopian and Neotropical regions and extending northward into southern portions of the Palearctic and Nearctic regions as well. All but one of the approximately 93 species of Leptotyphlopidae are contained in the genus Leptotyphlops. In the Old World, this genus is distributed throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with two species (L. blanfordi and L. macrorhynchus) extending eastward as far as northwestern India. Also, three species (L. fili-formis, L. macrurus, and L. wilsoni) are endemic to the island of Socotra in the northwestern Indian Ocean, and a small number of mainland species are known to inhabit several islands off the coast of Africa (e.g., Pemba and Bioco). In the New World, Leptotyphlops ranges throughout most of South America (excluding Chile, southern Argentina, and southern Peru) and all of Central America and Mexico, with two species (L. dulcis and L. humilis) extending northward into the southwestern United States. In addition, six species are endemic to islands of the West Indies, and several mainland species are known from islands along the coasts of Mexico and Central America. The numbers of Old World and New World species of Leptotyphlops are approximately equal. The genus Rhinolep-tus includes only a single species, R. koniagui, which is known from Guinea and Senegal in western Africa. The altitudinal distribution of slender blindsnakes is remarkable given the extraordinarily small size of these ectothermic animals. They have been found at elevations ranging from 250 ft (76 m) below sea level (L. humilis in Death Valley, California) to 10,660 ft (3,250 m) above sea level (L. tricolor in the Peruvian Andes).

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