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Leptotyphlops telloi


Range: Lebombo Mountains, Eswatini and Mozambique


Tello’s threadsnake is a rare mountain endemic, found only in the Lebombo mountains that border Eswatini and Mozambique, possibly but not yet recorded stretching north or south into South Africa. This species grows to 18 cm in length, with a slender build. The head is slightly broader and flatter than the neck with a narrow wedge- shaped rostral scale, and the tail is short and blunt with a spine tip. Scale row count midbody is 14, 12 on the tail, and dorsal scale count averages 250. Color is overall silver black. This species can be distinguished from its relatives (particularly L. distanti) in having a narrow rostral scale and undivided occipital (rear cranial) scales.


Habitat: Mountainous savannah in loose soils, grass clumps, or termite mounds.


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


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



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