Blind snakes share many characteristics of both regular snakes and earthworms, but they are classified as a type of snake. They can be found in countries all over the world, from the United States to the Philippines. This type of snake tends to live deep underground, and is almost entirely blind. They rarely encounter humans due to their natural habitats, but they are not venomous. Some blind snakes lay eggs while others have a live birth, but the reproduction methods of many blind snakes is not known.
Rarely exceeding 1 foot (0.3 m) long, a blind snake normally hunts small prey, such as ants, termites, and earthworms. Certain species are known to live near the nests of ants and termites, but researchers are not sure what exactly they eat. The larva of ants and termites seems likely, if not the ants and termites themselves.
The appearance of a blind snake can differ greatly from one species to another. Their possible colors include brown, blue, and gray. Blind snakes are well known for their shiny scales and round bodies that closely resemble that of an earthworm. In addition, eyes are not useful when borrowing underground, so blind snakes normally have eyespots that can detect little beyond light. Lastly, both the tail and head of the body are blunted — similar to a worm’s body.
Three families of blind snake exist, with several hundred species between them. Anomalepididae is a family of blind snakes that are native to Central and South America. While the snakes are normally found in the southern parts of the continent, some genera occasionally find their way north. As the smallest blind snake family, four genera and 15 species of blind snake are recognized.
Typhlopidae is another family of blind snake that is located in the tropical regions of the Americas, Asia, and all over Australia. At least six genera and 200 species of snake fall under this category. This type of blind snake is distinguished by its scale-horned tail, which it can use against attackers. The snake is also known to release a foul smell and wiggle frantically when captured from its burrow. Scientists know little more than the basics about this particular family, however.
The family of Leptotyphlopidae comprises nearly 90 species of snake within two genera. Like the blind snakes of the Typhlopidae family, these snakes are located in the Americas and Asia. This family contains the barbados threadsnake, which is believed to be the smallest snake in the world at 4 inches (10 cm) long.