Friday 17 May
Hooked thread snake (Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus)
Hooked thread snake fact file
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Hooked thread snake description
One of the smallest snakes in the world (3), the hooked thread snake is a rarely seen, predominately subterranean species of North Africa and the Middle East (2) (4). Owing to its diminutive size, extremely slender body, and pink skin, it is often mistaken for an earthworm (3) (4). Shiny, smooth scales cover its body, enabling it to slide easily through sand and soil (5) (6). The eyes are only just visible as small black dots, while the snout is strongly hooked for burrowing, hence the common name (2) (7).
- Also known as
- hook-snouted slender blindsnake, Longnosed worm snake.
- Max length: 24 cm (2)
- International Reptile Conservation Foundation:
- Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life (March, 2009)
- O'Shea, M. (2007) Boas and Pythons of the World. New Holland Publishers, London.
- Vine, P. (1996) Natural Emirates: Wildlife and Environment of the United Arab Emirates. Trident Press, London.
- Hellyer, P. and Aspinall, S. (2005) The Emirates: A Natural History. Trident Press Limited, United Arab Emirates.
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptile and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
- J. Craig Venter Institute (August, 2009)
- Al-Sadoon, M.K. (1989) Survey of the reptilian fauna of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 1. The snake fauna of the Central Region. J. King Saud. Univ. Sci., 2: 53 - 69.
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Hooked thread snake biology
On account of their small size and secretive lives, most species within the Leptotyphlopidae family, including the hooked thread snake, are relatively poorly known (2) (5). The hooked thread snake burrows in sand and soil, rarely being seen at the surface, except at night, or after being washed out by heavy rain (4). Although, primarily a specialist termite feeder, this species will also feed on ants and other soft-bodied insects (2) (3) (4). Like other thread snakes, it lays eggs (5), with the clutch size ranging from two to four (2).Top
Hooked thread snake rangeTop
Hooked thread snake habitat
Found in sandy areas of dry savanna and semi-desert (7).Top
Hooked thread snake status
This species has yet to be classified by the IUCN.Top
Hooked thread snake threats
While the conservation status of the hooked thread snake is yet to be assessed on the IUCN Red List, there are no known major threats to this species.Top
Hooked thread snake conservation
There are no known conservation measures in place for the hooked thread snake.Top
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This species is featured in Jewels of the UAE, which showcases biodiversity found in the United Arab Emirates in association with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
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