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Myriopholis ionidesi


Range: Southeastern coastal Tanzania, northern Malawi and Mozambique


Ionide’s worm snake is a rare, little-known species described in 2007 based on preserved specimens collected decades before. It is currently though to have a narrow distribution along the Mozambique/Tanzania border and neighboring countries and coastal areas. This species reaches to 15 cm in length, with a narrow profile and a small head barely broader than the neck sporting a notably narrow rostral scale and small supralabial scale, and a short, spine-tipped tail. Scale row count is 14, dorsal scale count is 265-306. Coloration is thought to be pink to light brown, with possibly lighter edging to the scales. This species can be distinguished from relatives like M. longicaudus and braccianii by its small size, narrow rostral and small supralabial scales, the lack of a “beak” profile to the mouth, and differing subcaudal scale counts (lower than the former, higher than the latter).


Habitat: deciduous Miombo woodlands, from 0-130 meters in elevation. Likely hides under leaf litter and loose soils.


Prey: unknown, likely small soft-bodied insects.


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



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