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the web of life in southern Africa

Ramphotyphlops braminus (Flowerpot snake)

Blompotslang [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: Typhlopidae


The Flowerpot snake can be identified by its earthworm like appearance and preference burrowing in to soil in sheltered areas. It grows to a length of 17 cm.

Distribution and habitat

This snake is introduced from Australasia and is only found Cape Town, Durban and Beira. It is encountered in any suitable shelter within city limits (often in pot plants which is were its common name originates from).


Eats termites, ants and small invertebrates.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes.


Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 2 and 6 eggs in summer.



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.