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Myriopholis erythraeus


Range: Coastal Eritrea and Djibouti to central Ethiopia, Afar Depression


The Eritrean worm snake is a rare species recorded from only a handful of scattered collections from the offshore Dahlak Archipelago and coast of Eritrea and  northern Djibouti as well as the southwestern corner of the Afar Depression, in the Awash National park on the border of the Ethiopian Highlands; its range is likely more continuous overall, but cut by the harsh environment of the region that makes study difficult. This species grows to an unknown length, estimated around 17 cm, with a short rounded head just broader than the neck and slender body, and a short tail tipped in a sharp, conical spur. Scale row count midbody is 14, 12 on the tail, dorsal count is 311-335. Coloration is pinkish beige to light brown overall, to occasionally having white on the anterior ventral surface. Tubercle protrusions are present on many of the cranial scales. This species is distinguished from its closest relatives such as M. nursii by having a pronounced forward-arching rostral “beak” scale, fewer subcaudal scales (28-34) and smaller size.


Habitat: unknown, likely vegetated pockets amongst low-elevation desert.


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


Lifespan and reproduction lifespan unknown, likely under 7 years. Oviparous.



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