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Epictia albipuncta

Range: east-central Bolivia to Uruguay and Argentina


Sometimes referred to as the Tucumán or Argentine blindsnake, this is a widespread species with disjunct records following the eastern face of the central Andes across through much of the southern Amazon and Pantanal regions. It is reported to grow up to 34 cm in length, large for a blindsnake, with a slender cylindric build and a somewhat flattened, rounded head of similar width and a very short, blunt, spine-tipped tail. The rostral scale is narrow and curves smoothly up the snout, the jaw set with a mild overbite. Dorsal scale count is 243-274, scale row count 14 midbody and 12 caudally. Color is reported to be quite variable, ranging from nearly solid black or dark gray to yellow-cream, usually overlain with seven brown to black lines composed of small triangular spots running the entire body. The head and tail are often darker, ventral surface cream and sometimes brown speckled or with up to 7 light brown stripes. The rostral scale and very tip of the tail also variably may or may not have yellow to white spots on them. This species can be distinguished from its relatives by having 12 rather than 10 caudal scale rows, supraocular (over-eye) scales that are present and don’t touch the supralabials (upper lip), and a sloping curve on the edge of the rostral scale.


Habitat: Savannahs or shrublands to forests with loose or especially sandy soils, often under partly buried rocks or wood or in termite nests.


Prey: unknown, but likely small soft-bodied invertebrates such as ant and termite larvae.


Lifespan and reproduction: lifespan unknown, likely under 10 years. Oviparous.



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