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Family Leptotyphlopidae

The Leptotyphlopidae are sometimes referred to as the Slender Blind Snakes, Blind Snakes, or worm snakes, names shared by a handful of other primitive groups. Among the most basal of snake families these reptiles are obligate burrowers, with rigid skulls and rudimentary eyes covered by their scales. Found across both the New and Old World in a range of habitats, they are small, rarely exceeding a foot (30 cm) in length, and feed on ants, termites, and other similarly small prey which they often prefer the larvae of. Some may even suck out the inside of their prey like spiders do and discard the exoskeleton.

Nonvenomous, and hardly even able to bite, Slender Blind Snakes are distinguished from other blind snakes mostly by skeletal structure, having an elongate quadrate bone, small compound, and large dentary bone in the lower jaw which is often fairly flexible and possesses only four or five teeth. These snakes, like their larger relatives the boas and pythons, also typically possess well-developed internal remnants of hind limbs and pelvic structures. Two subfamilies are recognized, within which depending on classification some consider there to be only two genera, others several tribes and subtribes with several genera. This site will use the latter classification simply to organize the species into smaller groups, with notes on previous species classifications and names.

Subfamily Leptotyphlopinae

Subfamily Epictinae

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