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Epictia fallax

Image source: author Imerú Alfonzo-Hernandez

Used under copyright

Range: northern coastal Venezuela and neighboring islands


One of several species confusingly referred to as the “Black blind snakes,” this one is of still questioned identity and tentatively only separated from the more westerly and southerly E. goudotii. Recorded from the coastal regions of Venezuela, this species grows to approximately 16 cm in length, with a slender cylindrical build, a very blunt rounded head of similar width to the body, and a short stubby tail tipped with a small spine. Dorsal scale count is approximately 230-260, scale row count 14 reduced to 10 caudally. Coloration is a distinctive gray-light brown with darker black stripes made by spots on the scales running lengthwise, with reports also of cross-body zigzag like patterns showing up midbody, and a pale cream or yellowish spot covering the rostral and part of the frontal scale is present on the snout. A similar spot on the tip of the tail extends over the tip and a short ways ventrally; the ventral surface is paler than dorsal. Some given distinctions between this species and E. goudotii include the rounded, truncate rather than slightly tapered head profile, larger (and more regularly present) rostral and dorsocaudal spots, and clear stripes.


Habitat: unknown, but if similar to relatives it likely inhabits montane thorn forests and pine savannahs, and deciduous forests under bark, loose soil and litter, and termite mounds.


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

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


Sources: author Imerú Alfonzo-Hernandez under

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