Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)

Brahminy Worm Snake | Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)  Indotyphlops braminus is one of the nonvenomous species of blind snake typically...

Brahminy Worm Snake | Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803) 

Indotyphlops braminus is one of the nonvenomous species of blind snake typically found in Asia and Africa, but now has been introduced in other many parts of the world. These snakes are entirely fossorial animals in a nature i.e., they are burrowing snakes, having habits and forms similar to the earthworms, for what they are frequently mistaken, though having close examination of the one can disclose the tiny scales on their body rather than the annular sections on the body like a true earthworm possess. The specific name given to the species is a Latinized form of the word Brahmin, which is a “Varna” among Hindus. Till now no subspecies of the species are recognized so far. The current species is commonly known as the Brahminy blind snake belonging to family Typhlopidae.

Some of the other known names used for the species are: flowerpot snake, Hawaiian blind snake, common blind snake, and island blind snake. The name "flowerpot snake" derives from the snake's auxiliary introduction to different parts of the world through the plant trade.

Scientific classification
I. braminus
Binomial name
Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)

Adults of the species measure about 2–4 inches in length but can rarely grow upto 6 inches. The head and tail in these snakes looks similar superficially, as they are indistinct. Contrasting the other snakes, the scales of the head in this species resemble the other body scales. The eyes are barely noticeable as slight dots underneath the head scales which can only be noticeable after close examination. Whereas the tails tip has a small pointed outgrowth. Beside the body have 14-20 rows of dorsal scales. The body coloration varies from silver-gray to charcoal gray, light yellow to purplish and or occasionally albino, the ventral side is paler. The juvenile looks similar to that of the adult in colorations. The comportment in these snakes varies from sluggish to active, can be observed quickly seeking for the cover of soil or leaf litter to avoid light or predator. 

The tiny eyes the snakes are covered by shining scales, interpreting these snakes are almost fully blind. Their eyes cannot form imaginings, but are still skilled of recording light intensity. Physiologically this species can be recognized easily in its range by examining the shiny scales on the black or brown color cylindrical body having a round snout bearing four vertical sutures. Possess a very short tail with a single spine. This species can be easily distinguished from all other members of the family Typhlopidae having the combination of lower nasal suture in contact with the preocular shield, the upper nasal suture in contact with the rostral and more than 270 middorsal scales. It is separable from all other serpents in being a unisexual, obligate parthenogen and devouring the point contact of the ventral scales, every one of which bear a black spot anteriorly.

Body scales of the species are imbricate and are often cycloid over the dorsal region. In Indian individuals body scales are in 20 rows. At mid body 261–368 transverse scale are present in rows. Most of the individuals bear row of 290–350 scales. Middorsal width/interocular head width= 0.22-0.36 mm. Total length/Midbody diameter= 30-60 mm. Tail length/Total length= 1.5-3.5 mm. Tail length/mid tail diameter= 0.7-2.0 mm. Ventral scales are distinguishable from other body scales having sub caudal scales of 8-15. 

It is usually a snake that occurs from low to moderate heights in majority of parts of its range. In India it has been recorded upto the height of 1515 m.asl whereas its maximum known limit is 2600 m.asl from Papua New Guinea. It occurs nearly all variety of forests (dry deciduous, moist deciduous, mixed deciduous, rainforest, grassland, deserts, semi-deserts, evergreen thorny forests, mangroves, coastal forest, variety of forests of Islands, wetlands, swamps, rocky terrain) and lands except the North & South poles. It can easily be sighted in geographical regions having more transportation of carrying things viz., plants, flowerpots & soil occurs. Micro habitation includes any type of acreage having loose moist soil, narrow cracks and low vegetation with loose roots or objects of any type which provides it the place for hiding. 

The species can be observed during monsoon months with diversity in its size comprising both new born and adults. However in winter & summer season the species retreats deep down in soil or in roots of flora to spend entire season in brumation. By nature it is a nocturnal species and which can be observed during low light of daytime and or in evening. Locomotion in these serpents is typically serpentine which uses its tail spine to anchor on the rough surface to support its body back, if needed. It has been acknowledged that it is an all-female triploid snake species i.e., having no sign of male individuals till now that means it reproduces parthenogenetically without involving any kind of fertilization. Females of the species lay around 2-7 eggs (looks like a long stewed rice) during summer inside insect holes or loose soil having proper aeration. 

The species known to feeds on the spawns and larvae of insects if they are ingestible for it where in its single feeding attempt it can consumes numerous number of eggs and larvae. Distributed in North Andaman, South Andaman, Car Nicobar, Chowra, Great Nicobar, Katchall, Tarasa, Afghanistan, American Samoa, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Borneo, British West Indies, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canaries, Central African Republic, China, Congo, El Salvador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lesser Antilles, Libya, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Marianas, Marshalls, Mauritania, Mexico, Midway, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sénégal, Solomons, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, United Arab Emirates (including Dubai), United States of America, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen. 

There are no serious threats known for the species which can distress its population and diversity. However the encroachment of the habitat and misunderstood killings may hinder its population in its range. 

Literature cited: 

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Herps Of Doda: Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)
Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)
Herps Of Doda
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