dcsimg

Comprehensive Description

    Description
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    The following description is of the first specimen reported from Egypt : total length 130 mm (up to 170 mm); tail 3.5 mm slightly longer than its width, terminating with a small conical spine; body cylindrical, rather thin, 2.7 mm wide, covered with smooth uniform sized scales, 20 transverse scale rows around the body; 320 dorsals between frontal and tail tip. Snout rounded. Eyes vestigial, visible below the juncture of the supraocular, preocular, and ocular. Rostral noticeably narrow, one-third of head width; nasals completely divided; nasal cleft proceeding from preocular. Four supralabials. Color is dark brownish purple, slightly lighter on the ventral side with the snout, tip of tail, and vent whitish. Generally darkest of all Egyptian Typhlops and Leptotyphlops.

Distribution

    Distribution in Egypt
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Introduced. The first report of R. braminus from Egypt and northern Africa is by Baha El Din (1996b), who reported a single specimen found freshly dead on a road in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. Subsequently, the species has been reported in several localities in the vicinity of greater Cairo (Saleh 1997, Wallach 1999), the Suez Canal zone (Ibrahim 2005), Ain Sukhna, and Sharm El Sheikh.

    It is apparent that R. braminus has been quite successful in colo­nizing new territory in Egypt. There are indications that it is well established in the Nile Valley and Delta where there is extensive suit­able habitat for the species. At both Ain Sukhna and Sharm El Sheikh the species was found in tourist resorts, where gardens are planted with imported exotic vegetation, among which this tiny snake has probably been transported. The arrival of the species in Egypt seems to be recent. Examination of extensive Egyptian Typhlops and Leptotyphlops material in FMNH and NMNH col­lected between 1949 and 1960 (n= 217) did not produce a single R. braminus. The earliest material taken from Egypt appears to be a sin­gle specimen collected in 1984, but only recently identified as this species (Saleh 1997).

    Global Distribution
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Ramphotyphlops braminus is one of the world's most wide­spread snakes (Gasperetti 1988). This species (commonly known as Flower-pot Snake) has been introduced to many parts of the world transported with exotic trees and shrubs. Current distribution includes Australia, south Asia, Arabia, sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, parts of the Far East and Central America, and the United States (Florida and Hawaii).

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    In Egypt it is found in cultivations and gardens in urban areas. Prefers muddy soils in damp humid areas.

Behavior

    Behaviour
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Fossorial, feeding on ants and termite larvae. Being parthenogenetic, the species has been highly successful in colonizing new territories rapidly.

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Least Concern

    Status in Egypt
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    An alien species with no conser­vation significance for Egypt.