Peters wormsnake

Leptotyphlops scutifrons

TAXONOMY

Leptotyphlops scutifrons (Peters, 1854), Sena [Mozambique]. Two subspecies are recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Peters' threadsnake, Peters' earthsnake, shielded blindsnake, scaly-fronted wormsnake, glossy wormsnake; German: Glanzende Schlankblindschlange.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

2.8-11 in (7-28 cm) in total length. Tail 5-13% of total length. Midbody diameter 0.06-0.16 in (0.15-0.4 cm). Aspect ratio between 40 and 89. Black, dark brown, or reddish brown dorsally (often with pale-edged scales), paler ventrally.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern Africa (Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya).

HABITAT

These snakes inhabit mainly savannas, where they are found in soil or beneath stones, logs, and other surface debris.

BEHAVIOR

Peters' wormsnakes are fossorial. They are most frequently found above ground at night after heavy rains.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These snakes feed mainly on the eggs, larvae, and pupae of ants, and occasionally eat termites.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Mating takes place in the spring. Oviposition occurs in the early summer (usually December or January). The eggs, measuring between 0.51 and 0.99 in (1.3-2.5 cm) in length and between 0.09 and 0.16 in (0.2-0.4 cm) in width, are usually deposited in clutches of one to three, although clutches of up to seven eggs have been reported. The elongate eggs are linked together like a string of sausages. The hatchlings, measuring 2.8 in (7.1 cm) or less in length, appear to emerge in late summer or early autumn (February or March).

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

None known.

Leptotyphlops scutifrons

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