Feeding ecology and diet

Like other scolecophidian snakes, typhlopids feed exclusively on small invertebrate prey. Most taxa feed predominantly on the larvae and pupae of ants, although many species frequently eat termites as well. Several Australian species of Ramphotyphlops are also known to occasionally include earthworms in their diets, and at least one species of Acutotyphlops (A. subocularis) is believed to feed exclusively on earthworms.

Typhlopids feed with astonishing rapidity, in some cases ingesting nearly 100 prey items per minute. They transport their prey using a peculiar feeding mechanism in which the toothed maxillae are rotated in and out of the mouth as many as five times per second. This rapid maxillary raking mechanism allows typhlopids to quickly gorge themselves once they have located an abundant source of food, such as an ant nest or termite mound. Large, heavy-bodied species of Ramphotyphlops, Rhinotyphlops, and Typhlops may consume hundreds of ant larvae and pupae within a single nest before becoming satiated.

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