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Leptotyphlops nigroterminus


Range: Central Tanzania-Kenya border and southwestern Tanzania


The black-tipped worm snake is an east-African endemic, found in the northern Serengeti and Maaasai Mara region on the Kenya-Tanzania border, as well as in a larger disjunct swathe from Tabora to the shores of eastern Lake Tanganyika. This species grows to 19 cm in length, with a highly slender build. The head is slightly broader than the neck and bears a large rostral scale, and the tail is blunt and nearly round, tipped by a short spine. Midbody scale row count is 14, dorsal scale count 220-300. Color is reddish brown to near silver in the center of each scale, and lighter grey on the edges dorsally, giving a nearly striped appearance; color is lighter ventrally, and the tail is barely to notably darker to black, from which the species gains its name. This taxon can be distinguished from its relatives by the black-tipped tail, and rhombic postparietal (rear cranial) and paired parietal bones in the skull.


Habitat: Found from 700-1800 meters in elevation in moist savannahs and moisaic woodlands, brush, and Acacia forests, in leaf litter and soft soils, or under debris.


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


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



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