Leptotyphlops dissectus
New Mexico Blind Snake


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Range:
Other Names: New Mexico Threadsnake, Threadsnake, Blind Snake, Texas Threadsnake, Texas Blind Snake
Description: A small (up to 300 mm or 12" in total length), relatively thin, pink or mauve snake that resembles a shiny earthworm. Both the head and tail are rounded and blunt. The head is not distinct from the neck. The eyes are vestigial and appear as dark spots underneath the ocular scales. Unlike most of our snakes the belly scales of this snake are not enlarged. A small spine protrudes from the end of the tail. There are no teeth in the upper jaw and only a few teeth in the lower jaw. The presence of three scales across top of the head between the oculars distinguishes this snake from the similar looking Trans-Pecos Blind Snake which has only one scale between the oculars. When captured this snake exhibits defensive behaviors that include writhing, releasing musk, and poking with its harmless tail spine.
Venom: None
Habitat: It occurs in Chihuahuan Desertscrub, Semidesert Grassland, and the lower reaches of Madrean Evergreen Woodland communities.
Behavior: The New Mexico Blind Snake is primarily nocturnal and crepuscular. It spends the majority of its time underground. It is occasionally encountered on the surface crossing roadways on rainy nights.
Hibernation: It hibernates during the cold months of late fall and winter.
Reproduction: Mating probably occurs in spring. A clutch of up to 8 eggs is laid in summer. This snake occasionally nests communally and females tend to their eggs.
Diet: It forages underground for ants, termites, other small insects, and spiders. It locates prey by following ant scent trails to the nest.
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