|Messelophis ermannorum extinct pygmy boa|
The Tropidophiinae, common name dwarf boas, are a family of snakes found from Mexico and the West Indies south to southeastern Brazil. These are small to medium-sized fossorial snakes, some with beautiful and striking color patterns. Currently, four living genera containing 22 species and one extinct genus with one species are recognized.
This family is confined to the neotropics, mainly in Hispaniola, Jamaica,and Cayman Islands, with the greatest diversity being in Cuba, where new species are being discovered. These snakes are very small, averaging to about 30–60 cm in length. Most species spend their day burrowed underground or under vegetation, surfacing only at night or when it rains. Some species are arboreal and are often seen hiding in bromeliads in trees. They can change color from light (when they are active at night) to dark (inactive in the day). This color change is brought about by the movement of dark pigment granules. When threatened, they coil up into a tight ball. A more peculiar defensive behavior is their ability to bleed voluntarily from the eyes, mouth, and nostrils.
They are found from southern Mexico and Central America, south to northwestern South America in Colombia, (Amazonian) Ecuador, and Peru, as well as in northwestern and southeastern Brazil; also in the West Indies.
|Genus||Taxon author||Species||Common name||Geographic range|
|Trachyboa||Peters, 1860||2||Panama, Pacific Colombia and Ecuador.|
|TropidophisT||Bibron, 1840||17||The West Indies, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.|
|Ungaliophis||Müller, 1880||2||Southern Mexico and south through Central America as far as Colombia.|
- List of tropidophiid species and subspecies
- Tropidophiidae by common name
- Tropidophiidae by taxonomic synonyms
- List of snakes, overview of all snake genera.