Reptiles and Amphibians of Thailand

Thailand's Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, and Frogs

Ozaki’s Blind Snake

Indotyphlops ozakiae

This species is found in Thailand, but not within Bangkok itself
Ozaki's blind snake Indotyphlops ozakiae งูดินปักธงชัย Ngu-din Pak Thong Chai khorat thailand FMNH180007
Ozaki’s Blind Snake in Nakhon Ratchasima (Josh Mata of Field Museum / CC BY-NC)

Above photos ©Field Museum of Natural History. FMNH 180007. Created by Field Museum of Natural History, Amphibian and Reptile Collection and licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

English name: Ozaki’s Blind Snake
Scientific name: Indotyphlops ozakiae
Thai name: งูดินปักธงชัย (Ngu-din Pak Thong Chai)

Description: To 22.7cm. A small slender dark blind snake (note that above photos are a preserved specimen and colors may have faded somewhat in preservation). Eyes are covered with skin and barely visible. Scales on the front of the head are lightened, as is the area from the cloaca to the tail tip. Tail is long for a blind snake.

Relevant scale counts: The inferior nasal suture is in contact with the 2nd supralabial. There are 20 rows of scales around the body.

Similar Species: Brahminy Blind Snake has inferior nasal suture in contact with preocular instead of 2nd supralabial and differences in internal organs.
White-headed Blind Snake has a fully white head.
Flower’s Blind Snake has glands scattered around the head scales, 18 midbody scales, and a blunt tail.
Slender Worm Snake is especially slender and has 18 midbody scales.

A Key to the Blind Snakes in Thailand can be used to tell blind snakes of the region apart.

Habitat: unknown

Range: The only known range is within Nakhon Ratchasima Province (Khorat) in Thailand.

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

Danger to humans: Not dangerous at all.

Conservation status and threats: This snake is known only from six museum specimens collected from two nearby locations in Nakhon Ratchasima. Its apparently small range could make it vulnerable to extinction. However, it is possible that the species is more widespread than currently known and just hasn’t been correctly identified in other locations yet.

Interesting facts: In 2001, the dissertation “A Key to the Blind Snakes in Thailand” built a key to distinguishing ten species of blind snake in Bangkok, including Indotyphlops ozakiae. However, Indotyphlops ozakiae hadn’t actually been officially described as a species yet, but was included based off of measurements of six specimens from Nakhon Ratchasima that had been provided to the authors. Van Wallach hopes to publish the official description of the species shortly.

References:
A Key to the Blind Snakes in Thailand
Thai National Parks: Indotyphlops ozakiae
Reptile Database: Indotyphlops ozakiae
Van Wallach personal communication
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia

%d bloggers like this: