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FloridaGardener's Blog
Aug 29

Written by: host
8/29/2009 4:59 PM

I was in my garden today pulling some weeds and puttering around when I lifted a spare bag of mulch and found a worm-like critter underneath the bag, just on top of the soil.

At first glance I thought it was another worm (my yard is blessed with many since I am not a proponent of poisoning the ground with “‘icides”). But, it was much darker than an earthworm and moved more like a snake.

Brahminy Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops braminus

 

This critter is indeed a snake – a Brahminy Blind Snake -- scientific name Ramphotyphlops braminus. The Brahminy Blind Snake is NON-Poisonous and not likely to bite if handled, so please do not freak-out if you find one while working in your garden. They are sort of cute and totally harmless. The Brahminy Blind Snake burrows in moist soil and leaf litter and is found under rotting logs, leaves, and trash. Most often it is seen in flower beds while gardening or on sidewalks after rain.

Ramphotyphlops braminus is frequently mistaken for an earthworm since both are shiny, but if you look carefully you will see that an earthworm is segmented (having rings around the body) but the Brahminy Blind Snake is not segmented. If you look closely at the Brahminy, you can see its snake scales. Also, the Brahminy Blind Snake cannot stretch itself out or contract like an earthworm does.

The head of the Brahminy is the same size as its body without a noticeable neck. Its small, dot-like eyes are covered by translucent scales so it looks like she has no eyes, thus the “Blind” appellation. Virtually blind this snake can, however, distinguish between light and dark. At the other end of this snake there is a tiny spur at the tip of its tail. The scales of this snake are smooth and shiny. This is certainly the smallest snake in Florida and it is one of the smallest snakes in the world. In fact, it is claimed to be “The smallest snake in the world”.
Close up of Brahminy Blind Snake showing head and scales. Click to enlarge.

 

The Brahminy Blind Snake is an exotic species from Southeast Asia that was introduced into Florida (first discovered here in 1979), most likely through the international trade in plants. It is sometimes known as the "Flower Pot Snake." It is found from the Florida Keys and the Southeastern peninsula north to Lake Okeechobee and in isolated populations near Fort Myers, in Pinellas County and Gainesville. Outside of Florida, it has been widely introduced in many locations in the United States of America such as Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Ohio.

Quick Facts regarding the Brahminy Blind Snake:

Adult body length: 4 - 6½ inches
Body length at hatching: 2 inches
Sexes: females only, no males
Development: egg cells begin division without male sperm
Young per year: 2 - 8 eggs; the females may bear live baby snakes which are all genetically identical.
Typical foods: termites, other soft-bodied insects, insect larvae

 

 

Copyright ©2009 Paul J. Erdek, FloridaGardener.com

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Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

Youre right...i found one in my while cleaning my backyard today.This spesies move fast like a snake & love to stay under the roots of banana plants.

And i wonder if this kind of snake is also eat insects..

By Adi Presley on   7/1/2012 5:39 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

Hi, i have a specimen which looks almost similar to your bramhiny blind snake but i am sure it's not the one i mentioned cause it has a flat head plus paddle like tail
pls confirm on this to my mail lohithsavanth@gmail.com

By lohith on   7/1/2012 5:39 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

Thank you so much for posting this. We just bought a house in Pinellas county and have found THREE of these in our kitchen - each on a different day. We've been researching like crazy trying to figure out what it is. We're new to FL and aren't sure how to keep these snakes from getting into our home. I'm afraid they are nesting somewhere inside.

By ally on   8/2/2012 6:15 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

Hi, I live in Royersford Pa. I was near a neighbors flower garden and saw this earthworm/snake. I was amazed to see this cute little creature. I was going to pick it up but changed my mind when i saw it sliver across the sidewalk. I am an animal lover, so I placed it in the garden to burrow in the ground. I wish I had kept it for a little while just to watch it. Thank you for helping me identify this critter. MIMI

By mimi potoka on   8/28/2013 6:40 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

How do I keep them OUT OF MY HOUSE??????

By Judy on   8/13/2014 9:49 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

El Sr. Lupe de intendencia encontró esta serpiente debajo de la bolsa de basura de la escuela y la llevó al laboratorio del colegio para poder identificarla, con la ayuda de esta página logramos saber que era un Brahminy ciegos, queremos conservarla en un terrario y buscar alternativas para su alimentación.

By Colegio Oparin on   8/13/2014 9:50 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

I found one in my gadon and n thought it was a very big earthworm and I almoust cilld it untill I wred this arcticle

By pj on   10/23/2014 7:52 PM

Re: Brahminy Blind Snake -- Ramphotyphlops braminus

I had seen it today in water. Is it brahminy or something else? Should I hold it in hand?

By chunnu on   11/9/2014 5:28 PM
     
     

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