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Ramphotyphlops braminus.jpg
Indotyphlops braminus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Infraorder: Scolecophidia
Superfamily: Typhlopoidea
Family: Typhlopidae
Merrem, 1820

The Typhlopidae are a family of blind snakes.[2] They are found mostly in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and all mainland Australia and various islands.[3] The rostral scale overhangs the mouth to form a shovel-like burrowing structure. They live underground in burrows, and since they have no use for vision, their eyes are mostly vestigial. They have light-detecting black eye spots, and teeth occur in the upper jaw. Typhlopids do not have dislocatable lower jaw articulations restricting them to prey smaller than their oral aperture.[4] The tail ends with a horn-like scale. Most of these species are oviparous. Currently, 18 genera are recognized containing over 200 species.[2][5]

Geographic range[edit]

They are found in most tropical and many subtropical regions all over the world, particularly in Africa, Asia, islands in the Pacific, tropical America, and southeastern Europe.[1]

Fossil record[edit]

Possible Typhlopid skin has been identified in Dominican amber.[6]


Genus[2] Taxon author[2] Species[2] Common name Geographic range[1]
Acutotyphlops Wallach, 1995 5 Eastern Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Afrotyphlops Broadley & Wallach, 2009[7] 29 sub-Saharan Africa
Amerotyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 15 Mexico through South America
Anilios Gray, 1845 48 Australia and New Guinea.
Antillotyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 12 Caribbean islands
Argyrophis Gray, 1845 12 Asia
Cubatyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 12 Caribbean islands
Cyclotyphlops Bosch & Ineich, 1994 1 Indonesia: Selatan Province, southern Sulawesi
Grypotyphlops W. Peters, 1881[8] 1 peninsular India
Indotyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 23 Asia
Letheobia Cope, 1869[9] 37 Africa and the Middle East
Madatyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 15 Madagascar, the Comoro Islands, Mauritius
Malayotyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 12 the Philippines and Indonesia
Ramphotyphlops Fitzinger, 1843 22 long-tailed blind snakes[2] southern and southeast Asia, as well as many islands in the southern Pacific Ocean
Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, 1843 7 Africa
Sundatyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 1 Indonesia and East Timor
TyphlopsT Oppel, 1811 20 the West Indies
Xerotyphlops Hedges, Marion, Lipp, Marin & Vidal, 2014 6 Palearctic

TType genus[1]

Former genera[edit]

Xenotyphlops, formerly classified in the Typhlopidae, is now classed in the Xenotyphlopidae.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 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 f "Typhlopidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  3. ^ Shine, Richard (2007). Australian Snakes, a Natural History. Chatswood, New South Wales: New Holland Publishers. 224 pp. ISBN 978-1-876334-25-3.
  4. ^ Webb, Jonathan K.; Branch, William R.; Shine, Richard (2001). "Dietary Habits and Reproductive Biology of Typhlopid Snakes from Southern Africa". Journal of Herpetology. 35 (4): 558–567. doi:10.2307/1565893. ISSN 0022-1511. JSTOR 1565893.
  5. ^ Pyron, Robert Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T.; Wiens, John J. (2013). "A phylogeny and revised classification of Squamata, including 4161 species of lizards and snakes". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13 (1): 93–145. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-93. PMC 3682911. PMID 23627680.
  6. ^ Poinar, George O.; Poinar, Roberta (1999). The Amber Forest: A Reconstruction of a Vanished World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-05728-6.
  7. ^ Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, Van (2009). "A review of the eastern and southern African blind-snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae), excluding Letheobia Cope, with the description of two new genera and a new species" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2255: 1–100. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2255.1.1.
  8. ^ Resurrected for a reclassified Rhinotyphlops acutus by Wallach (2003). Wallach, Van & Pauwels, Olivier S. G. (2004). "Typhlops lazelli, a new species of Chinese blindsnake from Hong Kong (Serpentes: Typhlopidae)". Breviora. 512 (512): 1–21. doi:10.3099/0006-9698(2004)512[1:TLANSO]2.0.CO;2.
  9. ^ Resurrected by Broadley & Wallach (2007). Wallach, Van; Brown, R.M.; Diesmos, A.C. & Gee, G.V.A. (2007). "An enigmatic new species of blind snake from Luzon Island, northern Philippines, with a synopsis of the genus Acutotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae)" (PDF). Journal of Herpetology. 41 (4): 690–702. doi:10.1670/206-5.1. S2CID 7385343.

External links[edit]