top of page

Epictia australis

Range: Central Argentina east of Andes


Known sometimes by the common name of Freiberg’s Blind Snake, this species is currently recognized as an Argentine endemic, found from Catamarca south to Neuquen Provinces, and from the foothills of the Andes east to the Atlantic coastline in the Buenos Aires region. Despite being fairly widespread and common for a blindsnake, reliable descriptions of the species are old and not readily accessed without funding. These snakes are estimated to reach up to 18 cm in length, possessing a very thin cylindric build with a mildly flattened, round head just barely broader than the neck, and a very short blunt tail tipped by a spine. Dorsal scale count unknown but likely 350 plus, scale row count likely 14, 10 caudally. The coloration is fairly distinct, with several parallel black stripes running the length of the body over a dorsal coloration of brownish gray to dirty yellow. The head and tail are both notably darker to solid black, save for a bright yellow or orangeish tip to the tail spine, and the ventral surface is lighter gray to cream-white. This species can typically be identified by the combination of yellowish striped dorsal pattern and black extremities, but with a yellow caudal spine.


Habitat: Recorded in savannahs and streamsides typically under rocks or other cover.


Prey: Recorded to feed almost exclusively on Pheidole genus ants, from eggs to adult though preferring the softer eggs and larvae.


Lifespan and reproduction: Lifespan unknown, likely under 10 years. Oviparous, lays up to 5 plus eggs connected in a chain by shell filaments.



bottom of page