English name: Flower’s Blind Snake
Scientific name: Gerrhopilus floweri (formerly Typhlops floweri)
Thai name: Ngu-din Hua Leuang
Description: To 23cm long. May appear to be a worm at first glance, but can be distinguished by its scales, dry skin, eyes, and flicking tongue. Scales are small and shiny. Head is relatively flat and wide. Tail is blunt and lacks the sharp tail spine found in many local blind snakes. Coloration is predominantly black or blackish-brown above and pale brown below with creamy yellow from snout to chin and around anal region.
Similar Species: Roxane’s Blind Snake has a stouter body and a short tail.
Brahminy Blind Snake lacks the yellow snout and has a sharp tail tip.
White-headed Blind Snake is more slender and has a pale head and a sharp tail tip.
Slender Worm Snake has white or cream on snout rather than yellow and has a sharp tail tip.
Diard’s Blind Snake is larger, lacks yellow snout and has a sharp tail tip.
Mueller’s Blind Snake has a sharp tail tip and a clear defining line between dark upper coloration and creamy white underbelly.
Blind snake species are difficult to distinguish from each other, so if you need more specific identifying markers you should use this key to the blind snakes in Thailand.
Habitat: Naturally in evergreen forests, but can be found in parks and gardens. Spends most of the time under cover. Likely travels on the surface on rainy or humid nights.
Contribution to the ecosystem: This snake helps control insect and other arthropod populations by feeding on their larvae and pupae. It provides food for larger fossorial snakes and other animals.
Danger to humans: Blind snakes are harmless – they have no venom and their mouths are too small to bite a human. When uncovered or picked up they tend to respond by wiggling vigorously and emitting a small amount of smelly musk.
Conservation status and threats: It is rarely seen due to its secretive habits but has no known conservation threats.
Interesting facts: Flower’s Blind Snake is endemic to Thailand, which means that it has never been found anywhere else. It is only known from a small area of the country, with records from Bangkok, Ayutthaya Province, and Khao Soi National Park.
Thai Biodiversity: Typhlops floweri
Typhlops roxaneae, a new species of Thai blindsnake from the T. diardii species group, with a synopsis of the Typhlopidae of Thailand
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia