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Myriopholis tanae

M. tanae.jpg

Image source: Vlada Trailin

Used with direct permission from

Range: Southern Ethiopia and Somalia to northern Kenya


The Tana worm snake is an inhabitant of the bordering regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, just over into Somalia, its range roughly delineated to the south by the river of similar title, the Tana. A rather small species in the genus, the largest specimen so far recorded was only just over 10 cm in length, with a slender build and slightly broader, flatter rounded head than the body and a tail slightly longer than most other species and more tapered, but with a standard blunt spined tip. Dorsal scale count is 227-260, averaging 249, scale row count 14 midbody and 10 caudally. Coloration is overall flesh-pink, though dorsally may be tinted slightly darker brown by pale pigments. This species has distinctive tuberculate growths on its rostral and nasal scales, and can be distinguished easily from its closest relatives by its exceedingly small size and low dorsal count.


Habitat: found from 0-400 meters in elevation in dry savannah to near-desert habitats, though often nearer sources of water. Especially found in termite mounds, under large rocks, and in oose soil.


Prey: recorded eating termite and ant larvae and eggs.


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



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