Blind snakes are one of the most interesting-looking and evasive snake species endemic to Australia. These shiny and interesting-looking snakes can be found throughout much of Australia, including New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia. So much so that experts struggle with the geographic range due to their elusive nature.
There are 47 species of blind snakes belonging to the Anilios genus, many of which are quite similar in appearance. In fact, they are often mistaken for earthworms! However, these snakes do have distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from their worm counterparts.
Blind snakes are often mistaken for earthworms due to their worm-like appearance, but they are actually a distinct species of snake. They have shiny scales and a distinctive blunt tail, and can range in length from 20cm to 65cm.
Their bodies are uniform in thickness and both ends of the blind snake are blunt and short, making it difficult to determine which end is the head, and which is the tail. Their small eyes appear as dark spots on their heads, which are covered by scales.
Blind snakes come in a variety of colors, including pink-ish, dark brown, grey, and black. They often have a white or cream-colored ventral surface. The head of a blind snake is indistinguishable from its neck, and its snout is blunt and short.
Blind snakes are a versatile reptiles that can be found in a variety of habitats, including dry woodlands and rainforests. As a burrowing species of snake, they spend most of their time underground, but can occasionally be seen above ground after rainfall or on warm, damp nights.
The blind snake is not a venomous or dangerous species of snake, but they do poses an interesting self-defense mechanism. When threatened by a predator, blind snakes emit an unpleasant odor from their anal glands as a deterrent.
While this may deter your dog from digging one up, this defensive technique offers only limited protection to one of the blind snake’s biggest predators: the bandy bandy snake.
Blind snakes are a burrowing species that rely on termite and ant larvae as their primary food source. These snakes will often use the tunnels that these insects make to hunt and consume their prey. They may also eat mature termites and ants which is why blind snakes are most often found in areas where their primary diet source is plentiful.
But how do they find their next meal if they are blind? Using their tongues, blind snakes can “taste” the air to detect the presence of termites and ants. Once they have located their prey, they will follow it back to its nest before consuming ants, termites, and larvae whole.
If you are fortunate enough to see a blind snake, it could indicate that a significant ant or termite nest is nearby. However, before calling in your local pest control for a termite or ant inspection, it is important to consider the role these snakes play in controlling the population of these pests.
However, if you would like to remove this snake from your property, contact the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team. We offer safe and humane blind snake capture and relocation to help preserve the health and safety of these snakes.
Our team of experts is trained to handle these delicate creatures without causing harm, so you can be sure that the blind snakes will be relocated to a safe and suitable location.
When we’re looking for a snake, the first places we look are along the walls and under debris. Snakes try to avoid predators by moving along the walls and beneath cover. Unless they are going from concealment to cover or seeking warmth from the sun, it’s unusual to observe a snake moving out in the open.
We study their body language once we discover the snake, before we attempt to catch it. This tells us what the snake is thinking and indicates what it might do. We can tell when they are going to run, stand up and fight, or simply be apathetic toward our presence based on their body language. It’s critical for us to understand how to capture and handle snakes using this information.
After they’ve been captured, they’re put in a bag and kept quiet in a dark, tight space. This keeps us safe while handling the snake, as well as allows the snake to calm down.
Following the capture of the snake, they are relocated to suitable bushland and set free. Each snake is assigned its own habitat and food. As a result, we release them into areas that are ideal for each species. Keelbacks and Red-bellied black snakes enjoy frogs and lizards, so we put them in areas near water sources such as rivers or dams.
During an operation, we always want to double-check the snakes for health and remove any external parasites like ticks before they are released. If the snake is not healthy enough to be released, it may be due to injury or sickness; they are taken to Australia Zoo’s wildlife hospital for further evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
As snake catchers, all the snakes we catch are logged with the department of wildlife and science. This is so they can keep track of where each snake has been caught and released, to monitor and maintain the biodiversity in the area.
We have also been keeping a personal log of all the snakes we have caught on the Sunshine Coast that you can view on our website. This way you can see the species and location of each snake we have caught around the sunshine coast and in your areas.
Much like the Three-Clawed Worm Skink and Burton’s Legless Lizard, Blind snakes are often mistaken for earthworms due to their worm-like appearance. This makes them difficult to identify. However, there are several distinguishing features to look out for when identifying the blind snake, including:
Blind snakes are not considered rare, but their elusive nature and burrowing behavior can make them difficult to spot. They can be found in a variety of habitats in Australia, including dry woodland and rainforests, and are most often seen above-ground after heavy rainfall.
The ventral surface is the underside of an animal, particularly its belly or abdominal area. In the case of blind snakes, their ventral surface is often white or cream-colored.
Blind snakes are not venomous or dangerous to humans or pets. When threatened, blind snakes will emit an unpleasant odour.
No, Blinds snakes cannot bite and have limited defensive capabilities. Instead, they will emit an unpleasant odor to deter predators.
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