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Epictia bakewelli

Range: Southwestern coastal Mexico, Jalisco to Oaxaca


Bakewell’s blind snake is an endemic to the southwestern coast of Mexico, found inland to the state of México but otherwise restricted to right along the mountainous edge of the country. It is recorded to lengths of just over 18 cm, with an even cylindric and thin build and a slightly tapered but rounded head that is no wider than the neck. The tail is moderately long for a blind snake at around 5% of the body length, but is of similar thickness and blunt with a rapidly attenuated spined tip. Eyes are relatively large also on this species, though still vestigial in structure. Dorsal scale count is 245-269, scale row count 14 reduced to 10 caudally. Coloration in many descriptions is frequently claimed as yellowish background color with brown stripes (or reversed), though many photos of this species generally suggest a more tan to light brown color with dark brown to black striping dorsally. The ventral surface particularly under the chin and neck as well as the venter region caudally is lighter tan to yellow/cream, and a yellow spot covers the upper snout and tail tip, extending from the tail tip forward a significant distance ventrally. This species can be distinguished from its relatives E. ater, goudotii, magnamaculata, and phenops by this distinctively striped appearance with paler chin and venter region, lack of a frontal scale due to it being fused with the large rostral, and the caudal yellow spot being larger ventrally than dorsally rather than equal size.


Habitat: coastal regions and foothills in arid scrub and semi-deciduous tropical forests, usually within more humid microclimates such as near seasonal creeks or wetlands. Often found under rocks, logs, and other cover.


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


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


Sources:  Copyright
Wallach, V. (2016). Morphological review and taxonomic status of the Epictia phenops species group of Mesoamerica, with description of six new species and discussion of South American Epictia albifrons, E. goudotii, and E. tenella (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae). Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(2): 216-374

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