Added 11 February 2014. Last updated 5 November 2023: added details for L. bondensis and L. taylori and updated details for L. beui.

A Look at the Family Anomalepididae


South American Blind Snakes


Boulenger gives the following characteristics for the genus: pair of large prefrontals and a frontal; nostril between two nasals.

Scientific Name

Common Name





L. albirostris

Whitenosed Blind Snake

Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina

TL 11cm

The species L. rowanii, which was described as by Peters and Donoso-Barros, is now considered synonymous with this species: see Reptile Database entry. Scalation details: rostral half width of head, not extending to between the eyes, truncate posteriorly and forming a broad suture with frontal by prefrontals, the latter forming a suture with each other; frontal broad; 2 superposed preoculars and 1 subocular; 4 supralabials of which 1st largest, 3rd in contact with ocular. Scalation count: midbody 20. Other: eye visible beneath ocular; tail a little longer than broad, ending in spine. Coloration: brown, each scale darker in centre; snout and anal region yellowish; L. rowanii is described as nearly entirely pale greenish-slated [SOURCE: Boulenger, Peters and Donoso-Barros]. 

L. anops

Cope's Blind Snake


Max TL ??cm

Scalation details: 4 supralabials; 26-28 rows or more at midbody. Other: eye invisible in adult. Coloration: dorsal scales with light brown with lighter-edged scales; ventral coloration same as dorsal coloration [SOURCE: Marx]

L. argaleus


Max TL

Scalation count: 26 scale rows at midbody; 304-308 scale rows from rostral to tail tip. Coloration: lacks brown pigment on yellowish-white head and end of tail. The holotype of the species was dorsally dark brown and ventrally lighter brown, but the paratype was “bleached completely white” [SOURCE: Peters].

L. beui


Now considered synonymous with L. ternetzii: see Reptile Database entry.

L. bondensis

Armando's Blind Snake


Described in 1916 as a Helminthopis species: subspecies armandoi described in 2021. See Reptile Database entry for details.

L. b. bondensis

L. b. armandoi

L. caissara


Described in 2010: see Reptile Database entry for details.

L. haadi


Described in 2008: see Reptile Database entry for details.

L. palauophis


Described in 2023: see Reptile Database entry for details.

L. schubarti

Sao Paolo Blind Snake


L. taylori


Described in 2018: see Reptile Database entry for details.

L. ternetzii

Ternetz's Blind Snake

Suriname, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, N Argentina

L. trefauti

Trefaut's Blind Snake

NE Brazil

Scalation details: 4 scales contacting posterior edge of prefrontal; 1 scale contacting posterior edge of nasal between 2nd supralabial and frontal; 5 scales in 1st vertical row of lateral head scales; Scale count: 22-22-22 around body; 520-543 dorsal scales; 499-532 ventral scales. Other: eye spot absent. Coloration: bright yellowish- to reddish-brown. [SOURCE: Freire et al]

L. wilderi

Wilder's Blind Snake

Brazil, Paraguay

TL 17 cm

Scalation details: rostral one third the width of the head, extending to the level of the eyes, rounded posteriorly and forming a suture with the frontal, which is very broad; a single preocular; no subocular; eye distinguishable under the ocular; four upper labials, first largest, third in contact with the ocular. Diameter of body 50 times in the total length; tail twice as long as broad, ending in a spine. 20 scales round the body. Coloration: olive-brown above, head white; yellowish inferiorly, with small scattered olive spots. [SOURCE: Boulenger]


“A new species of Liotyphlops (Serpentes: Anomalepididae) from the Atlantic Rain Forest of Northeastern Brazil, Eliza Maria Xavier Freire, Ulisses Caramaschi & Antonio Jorge Suzart Argôlo, Zootax, 1393, 2007. Read in abstract.

Also of relevance to this genus, but only read in abstract:

“The Central and South American Anomalepid Snakes of the Genus Liotyphlops”, James R Dixon and Christopher C Kofron, Amphibia-Reptilia, Volume 4, Issue 2, 1983.