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Range: Eastern Guinea through Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, to Burkina Faso


The white-bellied blindsnake is a rare and understudied species that hails from the rainforest border region of western Africa, from Guinea to Burkina Faso along the seasonal rainfall line. This species grows to around 13 cm in length (estimated from the few specimens collected), with a blunt rounded head barely distinguishable from the moderately thick body (for this group of snakes), as well as a notably long tail to 2 cm, tipped by a sharp point. This species displays 14 scale rows midbody, 10 on the tail, and a dorsal count of 165-208. Coloration is distinct, with the dorsal surface light to deep fleshy brown changing abruptly near the ventral surface to an off-white color that is the source of its name. This species is distinguished from other blindsnakes in its low dorsal scale count, contrasting colorations, as well as various differences in the cranial scale counts and sizes including its smaller rostral and temporal scales than most others, and a prefrontal scale separating the rostral and supraocular scales.


Habitat: Recorded from gallery forests and treed savannahs near ponds and termite mounds, above 250 meters in elevation. A burrower, it lives under litter and in the moist soils.


Prey: Unknown, though likely ant and termite eggs and larvae.


Lifespan and reproduction: lifespan unknown, presumed under 7 years. Reproduction unknown, likely oviparous.



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