Habitat

Blindsnakes occur in a wide variety of habitats, including tropical rainforests, arid deserts, savannas, dry woodlands, cultivated farmlands, and even coastal beaches. They are most commonly found underground (often during the course of digging operations), or beneath stones, logs, or other surface debris (e.g., bark, leaf litter, coconut husks, etc.). They are also frequently discovered in rotting logs, ant hills, and ter-mitaria. Although most typhlopids are believed to be pre-

A blindsnake (Typhlops sp.) on a leaf in a forest in Ecuador. The Ty-phlops are very primitive snakes that spend most of their time underground, where they hunt insects such as ants and termites. Their eyes are poorly developed and can only distiguish between light and dark. The animal burrows through the ground using its head (center right). (Photo by Dr. Morley Read/Science Photo Library/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

A blindsnake (Typhlops sp.) on a leaf in a forest in Ecuador. The Ty-phlops are very primitive snakes that spend most of their time underground, where they hunt insects such as ants and termites. Their eyes are poorly developed and can only distiguish between light and dark. The animal burrows through the ground using its head (center right). (Photo by Dr. Morley Read/Science Photo Library/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

dominantly fossorial, some forms are occasionally encountered above ground (often following heavy rains), and several species of Ramphotyphlops are commonly found in trees. In fact, one Philippine species (R. cumingii) has frequently been discovered in the root masses of bird's nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) growing near the top of tall forest trees. It is not known whether such species are truly arboreal, or if they only climb trees occasionally in search of food.

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