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Brahminy Blind Snake Reflections


We found this remarkable little creature on the floor of our shower this morning. First we wondered what an earthworm was doing there. Then, upon reflection, we decided it behaved more like a snake, in which case the question then became, “What is a tiny snake doing in our shower?”

A quick Internet search revealed that it’s a Brahminy Blind Snake , an Asian import also sometimes called the “flower pot snake.” We have no idea how it got in the house, as we’ve brought no flower pots in lately, but it’s apparently a little soil burrower who helpfully dines on eggs, larvae and pupae of ants and termites for a living.

The Florida Museum of Natural History information page about the snake says it’s found “in isolated populations near Fort Myers and in Pinellas County and in Gainesville.” They can now add “Hillsborough County.”

It was a plucky little thing, feeling its way cleanly around the quarter I placed near it for perspective, wriggling with purpose and determination in its temporarily circular universe at the bottom of a paper cup where we deposited it for convenience’s sake.  But the most remarkable thing about it to my mind, is that all individuals of this tiny sightless race of snakes are females. The Brahminy Blind Snake reproduces unisexually, like the whiptail lizards, and several species of amphibians and fish.

You never know what you’re going to see when you get up each morning, but gaining the acquaintance of a member of a completely autonomous, self-sufficient, sightless race of female reptiles was certainly a whimsical and edifying gift!

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