This 4-inch noodle I found in my backyard is a fully-grown blind snake — one of the smallest snakes in the world.
Eyesight is never an important sense of snakes. But most snakes do see and have exposed, visible eyeballs. However, as the name suggests, blind snakes are completely blind. The eyes can’t form images, but can still register light intensity, and are barely discernible as tiny dots under head translucent scales. In some blind snakes, you even can’t see the dots, like this one in my picture.
Pretty common but you don’t often see them because they are totally fossorial animals living underground. That’s why being blind won’t bother them at all.
There are 3 blind snakes in Hong Kong:
- Brahminy blind snake or locally called Common blind snake (Indotyphlops braminus) is native to most of Asia and Africa. It has been introduced to Australia and throughout most of the Americas.
- White-headed blind snake (Indotyphlops albiceps) is a less common species of blind snake.
- Hong Kong blind snake or Lazell’s blind snake (Indotyphlops lazelli) is a little-known species endemic to Hong Kong, first described in 2004.
See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.