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 Post subject: Skink: Mozambique dwarf burrowing
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME TO IDENTIFY

A.

Image

B.

Image

BOTH PICTURES TAKEN IN THE SKUKUZA AREA DURING THE FLOODS IN MARCH 2006.

ARNO


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:43 pm 
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I think it is a type of blindworm...not 100% sure.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I was thinking towards legless skinks, but they are a little too long for it I think.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:31 pm 
I unfortunately don’t have my trusted snake book with me, but I’m sure the first photo is that of a snake. There are a few small snakes that might be mistaken for worms. I’m not even going to try and id this one without my book – there are some with names like snouted …. and shovel-nosed ….. I cannot remember what the face of the “stiletto snake” looks like, but remember that it has a sharp point tail – seems this snake has a sharp tail.
Pilane will be able to help you out on this one.

The second photo I’m not sure of. Doesn’t appear to have scales, so possibly a worm? :?


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:07 pm 
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Arno, you should forward those pics to the virtual gallery at SARCA as they are collecting data for the list, and they will identify them for you.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:04 am 
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Your first specimen is the Mozambique dwarf burrowing skink (Scelotes mossambicus). Thus not a snake! You can distinguish between a snake and a skink through their eyes. A snake can't blink, while a skink do! This species is an endemic to Southern Africa and specifically the area surrounding the KNP down to Natal. It is found under logs, stones etc.

The second specimen is the Delalande's Beaked Blind Snake. (Rhinotyphlops lalandei). 25-30 cm. Also and endemic to Southern Africa, but is found from Zimbabwe to Cape Town. It is a burrowing species and eats insects, especially termites. :wink:

The rains probably forced them from their hiding places.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:40 am 
Imberbe wrote:
Thus not a snake! You can distinguish between a snake and a skink through their eyes. A snake can't blink, while a skink do!


Oeps, should have waited to get my snake book before trying to id. :redface:
Thanks Imberbe, that is very informative. :D


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:02 am 
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Its no wonder the delalande's beaked blind snake is blind , not being able to blink/close eyes , and having to burrow through the earth must be fairly painfull :P


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:29 pm 
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bucky wrote:
Its no wonder the delalande's beaked blind snake is blind , not being able to blink/close eyes , and having to burrow through the earth must be fairly painfull :P

ROTFLMAO! :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:57 pm 
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Thanks for the information - great to get a detailed reply on something that isn't "big & Hairy".


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:40 pm 
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Quote:
Its no wonder the delalande's beaked blind snake is blind , not being able to blink/close eyes , and having to burrow through the earth must be fairly painfull :P


Snakes have a transparent membrane that covers their eyes, which is actually part of their skin, and is shed with the old skin. Thus their eyes are protected and they do not need to blink.

In the burrowing species, the eyes are often reduced, sometimes to the point if being totally useless and blind.
:wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:19 pm 
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Could this be a similar type of reptile that Meinfam saw, seen on our recent trip.

Image

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 Post subject: CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME TO IDENTIFY
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Hallo Arno

The animal in your photo A is indeed a Giant Legless Skink Acontias plumbeus. These are rather large skinks. I've seen them up to 40cm long. They may grow up to 55cm in length. (The dwarf burrowing skinks do not grow this large.) Giant Legless Skinks burrow in loose thick humid ground and leaf litter and apparently they move about above ground after rains. They have strong jaws. Captives feed on large insects and young rodents, that they kill with their crushing bite, as well as canned pet food. They occur in the eastern parts of southern Africa.

Very interesting animals that are not often encountered because of their habitat preference.

Regards Agama


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