Friday, August 24, 2012

Scary Brahminy blind snake

My parents, sisters and brothers were cautious in my childhood and safeguarded me in every aspect, as I had been born as a precious child to my parents, then:). They used to point to everything that might harm me and warned me about it, so that I could avoid it and hence its harm to me, by its identification in future! One such a thing was a 'worm' that is seen on the floor of the house.
Though its visit is a rare one, the whole family gets alarmed by it and every one shouts to each to fetch a match box, as it is believed that burning only could kill that 'worm' ! Why all are scared of it? They fear that it might enter into ear, perforate it and cause total hearing loss. I have seen many such 'worms' being burnt to ashes. Is it a 'worm' at all? No, no; it is a snake! But it is non-poisonous. It is known as Brahminy blind snake (Ramphotyphlops brahminus, Common blind snake, Flowerpot snake, 'Kaanakadiaan' in Tamil). Usually we see it to be black and shiny of about 7 cm length creature, moving with its concertina locomotion. It has no vision at all though it has rudimentary minute eyes on its head. It lives underground or under logs and humus. Its main diet is larvae of ants and termites. It reproduces by parthenogenesis; only female snakes are formed. At each time of egg laying about eight offspring are produced. This blind snake strays into dwellings only when its habitat is disturbed by floods. It has only a small mouth and doesn't bite at all.
It is a wonder snake that is harmless but continues to scare all in the home!

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