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Leptotyphlops pembae


Range: Pemba Island, Tanzania


The Pemba worm snake is an island endemic, restricted to Pemba off the northern coast of Tanzania and possibly nearby islets. This species grows to around 16 cm in length, with a moderately slender build. The head is slightly broader than the neck, with large eyes housed under slightly bulging ocular scales, and the tail is moderately long for the genus and conical, tipped in a short spine. Scale row count midbody is 14, 10 on the tail, and dorsal scale count is 247-269. Coloration is dark brown on the dorsal side, paler ventrally, with large patches of white under the chin and throat. This species can be distinguished from its relatives such as L. macrops by the smaller ocular shields, lengthy tail (by comparison), fewer dorsal scales, and the broad white throat patches.


Habitat: plantations of clove and sandy-soil grasslands, possibly remnant forest.


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


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



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