The Brahminy bind snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) is a non-venomous snake found throughout the Ryukyu Islands. They are fairly common here on Okinawa. I often find them in drainage ditches, on roads and sidewalks. These small snakes are overlooked and mistaken for worms.
- Scientific name: Ramphotyphlops braminus
- Local name: Mekurahebi - Brahminy Blind snake
- Distribution: Ryukyu Islands
- Habitat: Forests, Grasslands and sugar cane fields
- Diet: Termite pupae and ant larvae
- Average size: 15cm -21cm
- Color: Dark brown
What is the main difference between the blind snake and a worm ?
- The blind snake has scales, a split tongue and a backbone (vertebrate)
- Worms have soft skin with ring like segments called annuli and lack a backbone (Invertebrate)
A photograph of a large earthworm (Pontoscolex sp) I found on Kume Island.
The blind snake is the only know snake to be parthenogentic throughout its entire life. The female lays fertile eggs without the need of a male to fertilize the eggs. This is why the blind is so successful in establishing populations.
This small snake is also know as the flower pot snake, thriving in backyard flower pots and gardens.
The blind snake produces a powerful foul smelling odor to deter predators when threatened. I found this out by picking the snake up to remove it off the road.
The blind snake has a modified sharp pointy tail used for anchoring and as a defense mechanism when attacked .
This week I found three dead blind snakes in Kin village. The warm weather (91-93 Fahrenheit) is drying out the top layer of soil and pushing the snakes out on the pavement.
Have a great day!