Reptiles and Amphibians of Thailand

Thailand's Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, and Frogs

Siamese Blind Snake

Argyrophis siamensis

This species is found in Thailand, but not within Bangkok itself
siamese blind snake Typhlops Argyrophis siamensis vietnam งูดินไทย Ngu-din Thai
Siamese Blind Snake in Vietnam (© Peter Geissler)

“Siam” specimen photo courtesy of the British Natural History Museum. Photo credit to Patrick Campbell. Chonburi specimen photo courtesy of Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Photo credit to Joe Martinez.

English name: Siamese Blind Snake (aka “Thailand Worm Snake”)
Scientific name: Argyrophis siamensis (formerly Typhlops siamensis)
Thai name: งูดินไทย (Ngu-din Thai)

Description: To at least 22cm long. Body is greyish-olive to brown above and yellowish to light brown below. Tail is very short.

Relevant scale counts: There are 20-22 rows of scales around the midbody and the postnasal border is not deeply concave.

Similar Species: Roxane’s Blind Snake has a deeply concave postnasal border and only has 5 scale rows of darker pigment on the back instead of the entire top half being dark.
Diard’s Blind Snake is typically larger, has 24-30 rows of midbody scales and a longer tail.
Mueller’s Blind Snake is typically longer, usually has 24-26 midbody scales and has a clear boundary between a dark upper body and white lower body.
Other blind snake species in the region have a more slender body.

Range: This snake is found in south Vietnam, Cambodia, and east Thailand.

Habitat: In leaf litter and under the ground in moist lowland forest.

Place in the ecosystem: Likely feeds on ant and termite larvae and other small soft-bodied insects. Would be eaten by larger snakes.

Danger to humans: Not dangerous at all.

Conservation status and threats: The Siamese Blind Snake is currently only known from about half-a-dozen specimens, with just 1-2 confirmed localities each in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The clearing of forest for logging or agriculture could threaten the species.

Interesting facts: This snake is known as the “Siamese Blind Snake” because the original specimen was marked as having been collected in Thailand. But the specific location where that specimen was found is unknown. Since then very few specimens have been found in Thailand and it is possible that its actual distribution in Thailand is very limited.

References:
Thai National Parks: Argyrophis siamensis
Reptile Database: Argyrophis siamensis
IUCN: Argyrophis siamensis
Typhlops roxaneae, a new species of Thai blindsnake from the T. diardii species group
The Reptiles of British India

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: