SUMMARY

  • VENOM: None

  • PREVALENCE: Rare

  • ACTIVE PERIOD: Unclear possibly nocturnal

  • KEY ID FEATURES: Worm like in appearance, reddish purple body with white head, ~15-20cm when mature

  • BEHAVIOR: Lives in soil, under logs and in leaf litter, also found in water culverts

  • OTHER: Lazell's & White-Headed can only be identified via DNA testing due to their similar appearance.

QUICK ASSESSMENT 0-10

GALLERY

IMPORTANT: Most snakes can be found to have significant variance in coloration and pattern even within the same species. There can also be extreme differences in appearance from juveniles to adults so it is important to never assume you have properly identified a snake.

DESCRIPTION

Unlike the Common Blind Snake the White-headed & Lazell's Blind Snakes are quite rare. They look like an earth worm even more so than their more common cousin, reaching a maximum size of 15-20 cm. There is no separation between head (apart from color transition), neck, body and tail and the remnant eyes are virtually impossible to discern unless view extremely closely. If you see what looks like an earth worm on a trail stop and take a closer look, you may have found a White-headed or Lazell's Blind Snake, though more likely a Common Blind Snake.

BEHAVIOR

White-headed and Lazell's Blind Snakes are prone to squirm vigorously when handled. They spend all of their time on the ground in forest floors and by shallow bodies of water as well as water culverts. They can be found during the day and at night but it is assumed they are mostly nocturnal.

HABITAT

Completely terrestrial, the White-headed & Lazell's Blind Snakes spend all their time on the forest floor, in leaf litter, under logs, burrowing or by shallow bodies of water hunting worms, tiny insect larva and small snails.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

NO SNAKE SHOULD EVER BE HANDLED BY ANYONE BUT EXPERTS: Often mistaken for earth worms, some people in Hong Kong may very well have seen White-headed or Lazell's Blind Snakes and not noticed. There is no danger associated with misidentifying these species and they make interesting subjects to observe and show to children.