Brahminy blindsnake, Flowerpot snake, Common blind snake, Island blind snake, Hawaiian blind snake
The Brahminy blind snake (Indotyphlops braminus) is a nonvenomous blind snake species found mostly in Africa and Asia. It has also been introduced in many other parts of the world. They are completely fossorial (i.e., burrowing) animals, with habits and appearance similar to earthworms, for which they are often mistaken. The species is parthenogenetic and all known specimens have been female.
Brahminy blind snakes are the smallest known snake species in the world. Their head and tail are superficially similar as the head and neck are indistinct. Unlike other snakes, the head scales resemble the body scales. The eyes are barely discernible as small dots under the head scales. The tip of the tail has a small, pointed spur. Along the body are fourteen rows of dorsal scales. Coloration ranges from charcoal gray, silver-gray, light yellow-beige, purplish, or infrequently albino, the ventral surface is more pale. The coloration of the juvenile form is similar to that of the adult. The tiny eyes are covered with translucent scales which means that these snakes are almost entirely blind. Their eyes cannot form images but can react to light intensity.
Brahminy blind snakes are native to Africa and Asia and are now introduced in many parts of the world, including Australia, the Americas, and Oceania. In Africa, they occur in Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, ZimbabweSomalia, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa (Cape Town, Lephalale, Limpopo Province at the Medupi Power Station during construction), Madagascar, the Comoro Islands, Mauritius, the Mascarene Islands and the Seychelles. In Asia, they occur in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, mainland India, the Maldives, the Lakshadweep Islands, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Andaman Islands, the Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Singapore, the Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Hainan, southern China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawashima and Miyakoshima. In Maritime Southeast Asia, these snakes occur on Sumatra and nearby islands (the Riao Archipelago, Bangka, Billiton, and Nias), Borneo, Sulawesi, the Philippines, Butung, Salajar, Ternate, Halmahera, Buru, Ceram, Ambon, Saparua, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Madura, Flores, Lomblen, Sumba, Timor, East Timor, Kai Island, the Aru Islands, New Guinea (Western Papua and Papua New Guinea), New Britain, and Bougainville Island. They also can be found in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, on Christmas Island. Brahminy blind snakes usually live in urban and agricultural areas. They live underground in ant and termite nests. They are also found under logs, moist leaves, stones, and humus in wet forest, dry jungle, abandoned buildings, and even city gardens.
Brahminy blind snakes are social and sometimes several individuals may hide together under rocks or logs. They can be seen active both during the day and at night but are mostly nocturnal. These snakes spend most of their time underground and if exposed above ground will quickly seek the cover of soil or leaf litter to avoid light. Blind snakes are harmless and cannot bite. When threatened they will produce a smelly musk, squirm vigorously or poke with the tail spine to cause an unpleasant pricking sensation.
Brahminy blind snakes are parthenogenetic. They are all females and are able to reproduce without males. Females lay eggs or may bear live young. They produce up to 8 young each breeding season. Snakelets are born precocial (fully developed) and don't need parental care.