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the web of life in southern Africa

Leptotyphlops incognitus (Incognito worm snake, Incognito thread snake)

Incognito-erdslangetjie, Incognitodraadslangetjie [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 Incognito worm snake  can be identified by its small size, rounded head and highly polished scales and it is entirely fossorial (underground living). It grows to an average length of 15 cm and a maximum length of 19 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Found in northern South Africa, Swaziland, southern Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe. It inhabits a wide variety of habitats throughout its distribution.


Eats invertebrates (particularly termites).

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes, birds, small carnivorous mammals (e.g. mongooses) and scorpions.


Oviparous (egg-laying).



Medical importance



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  • 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.