Leptotyphlops dulcis

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Leptotyphlops dulcis
Leptotyphlops dulcis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Leptotyphlopidae
Genus: Leptotyphlops
Species: L. dulcis
Binomial name
Leptotyphlops dulcis
(Baird & Girard, 1853)
Synonyms
  • Rena dulcis - Baird & Girard, 1853
  • Stenostoma dulce - Cope, 1861
  • St[enostoma]. dulce - Jan & Sordelli, 1861
  • Stenostoma rubellum - Garman, 1884
  • Leptotyphlops dulcis - Stejneger, 1891
  • Glauconia dulcis - Cope, 1892
  • Glauconia dulcis - Boulenger, 1893
  • Leptotyphlops dulcis dulcis
    - Klauber, 1940
  • Leptotyphlops dulcis - Hahn, 1980[1]
Common names: Texas blind snake, Texas slender blind snake, Texas threadsnake,[2] more.

Leptotyphlops dulcis is a blind snake species found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[2]

Physical description[edit]

L. dulcis appears much like a shiny earthworm. They are pinkish-brown (puce) in color with a deep sheen to their scales. They appear not to be segmented. Their eyes are no more than two dark dots under the head's scales. Their mouths are small and set in an underbite. Adults can grow to approximately 20 cm (7.9 in) in length.

On the top of the head, between the ocular scales, L. dulcis has three scales (L. humilis has one scale).[3]

Behavior[edit]

Texas Blind Snakes spend the vast majority of their time buried in loose soil, only emerging to feed or when it rains and their habitat floods with water. Blind snakes are often found after spring rains and mistaken for earthworms. If handled they usually squirm around and try to poke the tip of their tail into the handler. This is a completely harmless maneuver and likely serves as a distractive measure. Their mouths are far too small to effectively bite a human being.

Feeding[edit]

Their diet consists primarily of termite and ant larvae.

Common names[edit]

Texas slender blind snake, Texas threadsnake,[2] Texas blind snake, plains blind snake.

Subspecies[edit]

Subspecies[2] Authority[2] Common name Geographic range
L. d. dissectus (Cope, 1896) New Mexico blind snake
L. d. dulcis (Baird & Girard, 1853) Plains blind snake
L. d. myopicus (Garman, 1884)

Geographic range[edit]

Found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the USA it occurs in southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma including the panhandle, central & south Texas west through southern New Mexico to southeastern Arizona. In northern Mexico it has been reported in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Querétaro, Hidalgo and Puebla. The type locality given is "Between San Pedro and Camanche Springs Tex." (Comanche Springs, Texas).[1]

Conservation[edit]

Gauging wild blind snake populations is virtually impossible due to their secretive nature. However, like many other native Texas species, they are known to be detrimentally affected by the red imported fire ant.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c d e "Leptotyphlops dulcis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Smith, H.M. & E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. pp. 136-137.

External links[edit]