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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Infraorder: Alethinophidia
Family: Anomochilidae
Cundall, Wallach & Rossman, 1993
Genus: Anomochilus
Berg, 1901
  • Anomolochilus Lidth de Jeude In Weber, 1890
  • Anomochilus Berg, 1901[1]
Common names: dwarf pipe snakes.[2]

The Anomochilidae, or anomochilids, are a monotypic family created for the genus Anomochilus,[2][3] which currently contains three monotypic species.[4]


Anomochilidae comprises a single genus (Anomochilus) and two species. Anomochilus is known from the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, central Sumatra, and southwestern Borneo. Anomochilids are probably fossorial, but their natural habitat remains conjecture.

Anomochilids are small snakes, with museum specimens measuring 17–36cm in total length. The eyes are reduced, and there are no teeth on the premaxiila, pterygoid, or palatine. A tracheal lung is absent. Anomochilids retain some pelvic elements, indicated externally by cloacal spurs. The tails are relatively short. Females have two well developed oviducts. Anomochilids have white or yellow patterns against a darker reddish background.

Cranial and dentary morphology suggests that anomochilids probably eat small invertebrates.

One of the museum specimens of Anomochilus was found to contain four eggs, suggesting oviparity, but nothing else is known of anomochilid reproduction or behavior.

Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Anomochilus is morphologically intermediate between Scolecophidia (blindsnakes) and Alethinophidia (true snakes), and is sister to all other alethinophidians. Anomochilus has in the past been placed in Aniliidae,

These three species much resemble those of the family Cylindrophiidae (Asian pipesnakes). However, they lack both a chin groove and teeth on their pterygoid.

Geographic range[edit]

They are found in West Malaysia and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.[1]


Species[4] Taxon author[4] Common name Geographic range[1]
A. leonardi M.A. Smith, 1940 Leonard's pipe snake West Malaysia in Selangor and Pahang.
A. weberiT (Lidth de Jeude In Weber, 1890) Weber's pipe snake Indonesia on the island of Sumatra.
A. monticola Das, Lakim, Lim & Hui, 2008 Mountain pipe snake Borneo

T) Type species.[1]


The name of the genus was originally Anomolochilus, which was given to it by T.W. van Lidth de Jeude in 1890. In 1901, C. Berg pointed out the name was already occupied by a genus of Coleoptera (beetles), and he proposed as a replacement the name Anomochilus.[5]

The genus, together with Cylindrophis, was previously assigned to the subfamily Cylindrophinae under the family Uropeltidae, but both were removed by Cundall et al. (1993) to prevent a paraphyletic relationship.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e 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 "Anomochilidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Anomochilidae at the Reptile Database. Accessed 11 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Anomochilus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ Anomochilus weberi at the Reptile Database. Accessed 11 November 2015.

External links[edit]