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Ramphotyphlops braminus.jpg
Brahminy blind snake,
Ramphotyphlops braminus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Infraorder: Scolecophidia
Cope, 1864[1]

See text

The Scolecophidia, commonly knowns as blind snakes or thread snakes,[2] are an infraorder[2] of snakes. They range in length from 10 to 100 cm (3.9 to 39.4 in). All are fossorial (adapted for burrowing).[3] Five families and 39 genera are recognized.[4]


Family[2] Authority[2] Genera[4] Common name[2] Geographic range[1]
Anomalepididae Taylor, 1939 4 primitive blind snakes Southern Central America and South America
Gerrhopilidae Vidal, Wynn, Donnellan & Hedges, 2010[5] 3 blind snakes India, South-east Asia, Indonesia, Philippines and New Guinea[6]
Leptotyphlopidae Stejneger, 1892 13 slender blind snakes or threadsnakes Africa, western Asia and the Americas
Typhlopidae Merrem, 1820 33 long-tailed blind snakes Most tropical and many subtropical regions all over the world
Xenotyphlopidae Vidal, Vences, Branch & Hedges, 2010[5] 1 blind snakes Madagascar

Biogeographic history[edit]

Scolecophidians are believed to have originated on Gondwana, with anomalepidids and leptotyphlopids evolving in west Gondwana (South America and Africa) and typhlopids, gerrhopilids and xenotyphlopids on east Gondwana, initially on the combined India/Madagascar land mass, during the Mesozoic.[5] Typhlopids then dispersed to Africa and Eurasia. South American typhlopids apparently evolved from African typhlopids that rafted across the Atlantic about 60 million years ago; they in turn dispersed to the Caribbean about 33 million years ago.[5] Similarly, typhlopids apparently reached Australia from Southeast Asia or Indonesia about 28 million years ago.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c d e "Scolecophidia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Scolecophidia at Palaeos. Accessed 21 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Uetz, Peter. "The Reptile Database". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Vidal, Nicolas; et al. (2010). "Blindsnake evolutionary tree reveals long history on Gondwana" (PDF). Biology Letters. 6 (4): 558–561, page 560. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0220. PMC 2936224Freely accessible. PMID 20356885. 
  6. ^ Vitt, Laurie J.; Caldwell, Janalee P. (2013). Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Academic Press. p. 600.