The Leptotyphlopidae (commonly called slender blind snakes or thread snakes) are a family of snakes found in North America, South America, Africa and Asia. All are fossorial and adapted to burrowing, feeding on ants and termites. Two subfamilies are recognized.
== Description ==
These relatively small snakes rarely exceed 30 cm in length; only Trilepida macrolepis and Leptotyphlops occidentalis grow larger. The cranium and upper jaws are immobile and no teeth are in the upper jaw. The lower jaw consists of a much elongated quadrate bone, a tiny compound bone, and a relatively larger dentary bone. The body is cylindrical with a blunt head and a short tail. The scales are highly polished. The pheromones they produce protect them from attack by termites. Among these snakes is what is believed to be the world's smallest: L. carlae (Hedges, 2008).
== Geographic range ==
These snakes are found in Africa, western Asia from Turkey to eastern India, on Socotra Island, and from the southwestern United States south through Mexico and Central America to South America, though not in the high Andes. In Pacific South America, they occur as far south as southern coastal Peru, and on the Atlantic side as far as Uruguay and Argentina. In the Caribbean, they are found on the Bahamas, Hispaniola, and the Lesser Antilles.
== Habitat ==
They occur in a wide variety of habitats from arid areas to rainforest, and are known to occur near ant and termite nests.
== Feeding ==
Their diets consist mostly of termite or ant larvae, pupae, and adults. Most species suck out the contents of insect bodies and discard the exoskeleton.
== Reproduction ==
Snakes in this family are oviparous.
== Taxonomy ==
Genus Epacrophis [Hedges, Adalsteinsson, & Branch, 2009] (3 species)
Genus Leptotyphlops [Fitzinger, 1843] (21 species)
Genus Myriopholis [Hedges, Adalsteinsson, & Branch, 2009] (23 species)
Genus Namibiana [Hedges, Adalsteinsson, & Branc, 2009] (5 species)
Tribe Epictini, New World snakes
Genus Epictia [Gray, 1845] (43 species)
Genus Siagonodon [Peters, 1881] (4 species)
Genus Rena [Baird & Girard, 1853] (11 species)
Genus Trilepida [Hedges, 2011] (14 species)
Genus Mitophis [Hedges, Adalsteinsson & Branch, 2009] (4 species)
Genus Tetracheilostoma [Jan, 1861] (3 species)
Tribe Rhinoleptini, African snakes
Genus Tricheilostoma [Jan, 1860] (5 species)
Genus Rhinoleptus [Orejas-Miranda, Roux-Estève & Guibé, 1970] Villiers's blind snake
Genus Rhinoguinea [Trape, 2014] Rhinoguinea magna
== See also ==
List of leptotyphlopid species and subspecies
== References ==
== External links ==
"Family Leptotyphlopidae (Slender Blind Snakes)". J. Craig Venter Institute. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009.