identifying blind snakes in thailand typhlops Typhlopidae

Blind Snakes are “blind” due to their subterranean lifestyles, the lack of light resulting in eyes that have reduced to the point of seeing very little if anything. Their underground habits also lead them to have small heads, very smooth nondescript bodies, and tiny scales.

There are 11 species of Blind Snake in Thailand. Most are small and slender, in the 10-20 cm range, but a few are quite robust and reach over 50 cm in length. Coloration is rare but a couple species have interesting belly color, patterns are even rarer though one species has stripes and another has a white head.

Because blind snakes spend nearly all their time underground and are so difficult to find, some species are known from very few individuals. I’ve never seen a photo of a live Flower’s Blind Snake (just museum collections), Ozaki’s Blind Snake is only known from a handful of specimens, and Siamese Blind Snakes have seldom been recorded. But the rarest species – the Trang Blind Snake and Roxane’s Blind Snake – were only found once each and were never seen again! On the other hand, the Brahminy Blind Snake is probably the most common snake in Bangkok and is familiar to anyone with a garden.

You might think that they all look the same, but most of the species can be distinguished by head/tail/belly features and the rest by an examination of the scales. If you want to read more about the 11 species known to exist here, go to the “Identifying Blind Snakes” page! Click on any species name or picture to see 5 more photos and a full write-up on each species.

Identifying Blind Snakes in Thailand

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