Typhlopidae


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Typhlopidae

[ti′fläp·ə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A family of small, burrowing circumtropical snakes, suborder Serpentes, with vestigial eyes and toothless jaws.

Typhlopidae

 

(blind snakes), a family of snakes containing the single genus Typhlops. Most blind snakes are approximately 40 cm in length, although a few, for example, the African Typhlops humbo, reach a length of 80 cm. The small eyes are concealed beneath scales and, when visible, look like dark spots. The body is covered with smooth scales; the tail is stubby and ends in a sharp spine.

There are approximately 170 species of blind snakes, distributed mainly in the tropical zones of both hemispheres. They are burrowing snakes, which live in the top layer of soil, under rocks, in forest litter, and in ant hills and termites’ nests. The snakes feed on ants, termites, and other small arthropods.

Most blind snakes are oviparous, although some are viviparous, for example, Diard’s blind snake (Typhlops diardi) of South Asia. The flowerpot snake (Typhlops braminus), one of the most common species, is found in South Asia and Madagascar and on islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The Asia Minor blind snake (Typhlops vermicularis), which resembles the earthworm, is found in the USSR in eastern Transcaucasia, southern Dagestan, and southern Middle Asia. Related genera of burrowing snakes, for example, Typhlophis and Lioiyphlops, were once included in the family Typhlopidae.

I. S. DAREVSKII

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References in periodicals archive ?
Dimorfismo sexual y variacion geografica de la serpiente ciega Typhlops reticulatus (Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae) y distribucion de otras especies del genero en Colombia.
Este traslape en el numero de escamas dorsales totales tambien puede indicar que hubo un flujo de genes entre las poblaciones cis y transandinas, antes de que empezara el levantamiento de la Cordillera Oriental colombiana en la epoca del Mioceno Medio, comprendido entre los 12.9 y 11.8 millones de anos atras (Guerrero 1997); ya que la familia Typhlopidae se puede considerar como un grupo relativamente antiguo y de distribucion gondwanica (Thomas 1976), pues muchos de los caracteres anatomicos de la familia Typhlopidae y las familias de serpientes ciegas asociadas (Anomalepididae y Leptotyphlopidae) son considerados como primitivos (Dixon & Hendricks 1979), se puede considerar que antes del levantamiento de la Cordillera Oriental de Colombia, la serpiente T.
A comparison of the male urogenital systems of blind snakes, Leptotyphlopidae and Typhlopidae. Herpetologica 21(4): 241-256.
The Wormsnakes (Family Typhlopidae) of the Neotropics, Exclusive of the Antilles, Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 173: 1-39.
A Review of the Colombian Snakes of the Families Typhlopidae and Leptotyphlopidae, Caldasia 3 (11): 47-55.
Recherches Sur la Morphologie, la Biogeographie et la Phylogenie des Typhlopidae d'Afrique.
ahsanuli are uncertain and they are all placed incertae sedis within the Typhlopidae until the type material can be examined.