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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snake / worm thingy

UPDATE: During my years in the bush I have come across many wonderful, brilliant people and Arno Naude is one of them. He is from SA Reptiles and knew the snake I described immediately. It is a Slender Thread Snake (Leptotyphlops Gracitior), completely harmless and the one I have is about half the size to which they normally grow. Not much is known about them but they think it eats ant larvae.
THANK YOU ARNO!!! It is much appreciated!!!
Anyone have any idea what this is??? I found it in the garden yesterday and it is so pretty but I cannot find out what it is. It is about 5 inches (11cm) in length and pencil-thin, silver with the black markings. Its head is not snake-shaped and it does not rear up as snakes do when you touch it so I do not think it is a snake. It does look as if it has scales though but is too small to take a better picture and it also does not keep still so I can use another lens.

I have sent it to our local snake park to see if they can help me with a name, but have not had a reply yet.
The head.......

Close-up of the skin...

54 comments:

Jochen said...

Holy crap, this is an exceptional observation! I am certainly not a reptile expert of any magnitude but have always tried to see/find as many as possible while in Southern Africa and Blind worms were something of a dream...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How wonderful to hear from you again Jochen. It was a great find and I am now keeping it in my fishtank. I am just scared it dies. Any ideas what it will feed on? I have plants and soil in it which it can burrow into and as I also have a mantis in there, I put in fruit to attract fruit flies.

Jochen said...

As far as I know they feed on ant or termite larvae they seek underground. Therefore, it might be problematic to keep it in your fishtank.

Yes, some sun would be nice and my toes really hurt as I don't have decent winter shoes.

And by the way, wonderful to see you back on the blog, you had me worried temporarily!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks for this Jochen. I will watch and see what happens. I would hate for it to die. It is too beautiful.

You would never find me in snow like that no matter what shoes I had on.

I had so much pressure from all the great people on my blog, I did not have much choice. :) I am only finding time to do a post every couple of days now.

Jochen said...

Pressure?
Nah, it's your blog and as long as you are posting what you enjoy, like-minded people will always visit and find it interesting.

And thanks for putting the Bette Midler citation up again, I really enjoy the last part of it.

Did you ever walk through snow? I am pretty sure you get some in the Drakensberg mountains.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Jochen but it is so nice to know that people enjoy my posts.

It is a beautiful song isn't it?

Nope, no snow for me thank you. :) This mild winter here in Pretoria is about as much as I can take of cold weather. Working so many years in Kruger where in winter I had to maybeat night wear only a light long-sleeved jacket has spoilt me. :) Last years snowfall on the mountains was very heavy.

Natural Moments said...

I was going to call it a snake worm thingy too. Its a good name. I think it will stick. Its pretty though. Its weird that it could be a tiny little snake. Great find Joan. See, soon not only will they be knocking at your door, but they will be crawling over your shoes.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I did not know what else to call it Bernie. :) Well I not sure I want them crawling over my shoes as the next thing I know they will be all over my bed too. :) As it is I have a very, very small spider sharing my pillow with me which I need to chase off every night. LOL!!

Firefly said...

Trust you to find it. Well done. Another something to add to your list of bugs abd critters.

Tony nile life said...

got in a bit late on this, I was going to say its a type of slo worm
but its markings I have never seen and so beautiful. good shots.
i am going to be brave and look for some snakes and Scorpions People say there are lots of them about , but I have never seen any alive. they have snake catchers here but he only wants money from me, much prefer to find them myself and take natural photos.
there where a few in Cairo zoo. but the glass and its habitat was so filthy the shots did not come out clear enough to see if it was alive or dead,

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I must admit I was rather pleased with myself Jonker, but even happier that I get to share it with everyone here. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hi Tony. The best time to go out for scorpions is at night with an untra violet light as they glow in them. You shouls be able to find them without even turning over any rocks.

We have a couple of very nice snake parks here and as long as you dont use the flash, can get pretty decent photographs of them. I almost never find snakes in the wild even though I have spent years working in the bush.

Leeloo said...

How cool! It is a neat looking worm.. for a worm, lol. I love snakes but hate worms, how does that make sense?! My biggest fear are centipedes but I don't really mind milipedes?!! I know, I'm a weird case, lol.
Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting. How exciting to find a new animal you had no idea what it was! Glad you found it :)

Jochen said...

@Tony & Joan: I once went on a night excursion with a guy who had an ultra violet lamp to search for scorpions and it is SO INCREDIBLY COOL!

SABlogger said...

Hi Joan, I have send you a e-mail of a western blind snake, it looks almost the same :)

Mary said...

I've never even heard of these let along seen one...very intersting! Such neat skin. A real find!

Craver Vii said...

You always find the most amazing things!!!

Andrea said...

About the update:good to know...
Anyway I always come in Southafrica when these nice animals sleep...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You sound like my mother Leeloo, she was not afraid of snakes but I can tell you many a head of lettuce when sailing across the kitchen if she found a worm in it. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I want to do one of those excursions too Jochen, it sounds like lots of fun. The quy who is an expert on scorpions lives in Pretoria too and does them.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It does Lawrence. Thanks for finding it for me. I Googled it too.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Mary. I was very happy to find it.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Craver. We do have some very interesting things here and I love finding them.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Winter is the best time to visit here Andrea as then you are quite safe. :)Also it is not so hot.

JM said...

What a great find! So strange!

I have no idea why your blog has just vanished from your profile page but now, as a follower, I will not miss this one again! :-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose. I am so pleased you are back and have caught up with my site again. :)

Kenneth Ramos said...

I know what it is, Leptotyphlops carlae, Barbados Thread snake, Google it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptotyphlops_carlae

Ken : )

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks so much Ken. I have sent the pictures to Blair Hedges to ask if it is the same species and will let you know the answer when I receive one. What an interesting find this has turned out to be.

Thanks for taking the time to look it up for me.

Lawrence from SA Blogger has also found one called the Leptotyphlops humilis - Western Blind Snake which look similar.

Becky and Gary said...

Excellant shots Joan, but stay away from the head end just in case.
I'll check back later to see if you found out more.
B.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. I do handle most of these things with care as I am never sure what bites and what doesn't. LOL!!

I am contacting a few other people I know to try to find out more today so will post any new information I get as soon as I can.

Samson said...

That's cool, its so beautiful, looks like a metal worm, love the close up shot Joan

love the fly shots below and the photo's under the tital beautify at my feet is stunning... that bug is so colorful... love the first shot and the last one.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Sam. Great to hear from you again. Thanks. I have been lucky to find some interesting things these past weeks.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: No wonder it is blind, it doesn't have any eyes. Are you sure you didn't take a photos of the tail!
It actually looks like a colorful polyester rope with that design.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Someone else said it looked like a garden hose. :) It does not seem to have a mouth either so I am not sure how I am going to feed it Tom.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Maybe it eats through osmosis, just put it in the dirt and the worm will figure it out.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

:) I have been told to put it in a compost heap as that is where they like it best. Thanks Tom.

troutbirder said...

Stranger than strange. I'm going with something other than a snake or worm. But what I don't have a clue!

Diane AZ said...

Joan, great shots of that amazing creature. So, it's a slender thread snake! I don't think I've encountered anything like that. Very cool find. :)

Picture Imperfect said...

Oh my goodness, it's fantastic! It's another one of those creepy/cute things for me. I wouldn't touch it but I sure would be fascinated to see one sometime!

Thanks for sharing and for teaching me something new!

Craver Vii said...

I heard that their mouth opens down under their head, but couldn't find a picture of it.

Hey, maybe you can get a thimble and do a snake charming routine.

Leeloo said...

So it is a snake?!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello TB. So it turns out to be a cute little snake after all. What a lovely find it was.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. It really makes my day finding something unusual like this.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Penny. I do like all these creepy crawlies I find. It is such a fascinating world out there.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Sorry Craver but I do not have a flute. :) I think I charm them anyway with my smile. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Sure is Leeloo. :) I am going to release it today back where I found it.

Gaelyn said...

What a cute little snake. Couldn't tell the head from the tail. Very nice patterns. This is an awesome discovery. Glad you got it IDed and can now let it go.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This has been a wonderful experience and learning curve. Thanks Gaelyn.

Marvin said...

What a cool little snake. The pattern is awesome. From a distance it looks like a piece of braided stainless steel tubing.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It was such a neat find Marvin. I have only seen that silver color once before and it was in a moth. Most unusual.

Rambling Woods said...

It's great that you have someone who knew that. I know how much fun it is to solve the puzzle and how unsatisfying when you can't. My spider friend has decided to stay in the bathroom and I am fine with that.. Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I wonder if it is a Daddy-long-legs? They love bathrooms for some reason and I had one for a long time who I had to chase out the bath when I wanted to use it. He would then sit on top and look at me as if to say "hurry up, that is MY place you're sitting in!!" LOL!!

ramblingwoods.com said...

It is much smaller than a daddy longlegs...tiny really and I too have been stared at during a shower. I just hope they don't have a camera and an account with U-Tube...Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I think I am going to browse UTube to find out for you. LOL!!! If it is quite hairy it is probably just a little jumping spider Michelle. They are very cute.