Posts Tagged ‘reptile’

Bonaire’s Only Snake Species – Leptotyphlops albifrons

July 31st, 2008 at 12:37 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

It’s fun when one doesn’t even have to leave one’s house to find adventure. Last night Bas spotted a very small critter on the floor in the hallway to our bedrooms. At first blush it appeared to be a millipede, but with magnification we discovered that in fact it was Bonaire’s extremely elusive Silver Snake, the only species of snake known to exist natively on the island. We captured the snake on a piece of paper and found a plastic Hefty plate to put him on to keep him from getting loose (and to provide good contrast) while I took photos.

Bonaire Silver Snake next to a pen cap

As you can see from the above photo, the snake is tiny – we put a regular pen cap near him to show the relative size. The Silver Snake (Latin name is “Leptotyphlops albifrons”) apparently can get up to 10 centimeters (four inches) in length, although we estimate this one at about 2/3rd that stretched out.

Bonaire Silver Snake Close Up

Above is a close-up with macro lens. You can make out the snake’s eyes. After the photo shoot, we released him into the front yard for his (or her) safety.

The book “Nos Bestianan / Our Animals – Curacao | Bonaire | Aruba” by Dr. Bart A. de Boer says these tiny snakes are very hard to find. We’d agree with that as this is the first one we’ve ever seen in our 11 years on Bonaire. They only hunt for a brief time at dusk (which is when we found this one), and are otherwise hunting under rocks. They apparently eat very small insects, including ants, termites, and insect larvae.

Anyhow, a very cool experience – a lot more fun and less hazardous than the scorpions we find with regularity (the scorpions sting with the same pain as a bee sting, annoying but not otherwise dangerous).