Leptotyphlops occidentalis (Namaqua worm snake, Namaqua thread snake)

Namakwa-erdslangetjie, Westlike draadslangetjie [Afrikaans]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria > Squamata > Serpentes (snakes) > Family: Leptotyphlopidae > Genus: Leptotyphlops


The Namaqua worm snake can be identified by its small size, rounded head, highly polished and pale edged scales, and it is entirely fossorial (underground living). It grows to an average length of 20 cm and a maximum length of 32 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Restricted to western Namibia and a small part of the Northern Cape. Its favoured habitat is the Namib Desert.


Eats termites.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes and scorpions.


Oviparous (egg-laying).



Medical importance




  • Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.

  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.


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