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Leptotyphlops keniensis


Range: Mt. Kenya and Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Tanzania


Known only from four collected individuals, the Mount Kenya worm snake is an endemic of the mountain for which it is named, and the disjunct Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to the south; it is possible it exists in similar foothill montane regions in between the two peaks. This species grows to around 15 cm in length, with a moderately slender build and head that is slightly broader and flatter than the body. The tail is blunt, tipped by a short spine. Scale row count is 14 on average midbody, and middorsal count usually greater than 250-265. Coloration is typically an earthy brown or pinkish tone, lighter ventrally and the chin often possessing a whitish patch. It can be distinguished from its relatives such as L. aethiopicus by the lack of a white patch under the tail tip and relatively thicker body structure, and from other species by the high middorsal scale count.


Habitat: Found at elevations of 1250-2000 meters in foothills mosaic evergreen brush and Acacia grasslands, likely in in termite mounds or under terrestrial debris.


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


Lifespan and reproduction: lifespan unknown, likely under 10 years. Oviparous, lays a small number of cream-white ovular eggs.



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