Texas Blind Snake

Rena dulcis

Last updated: May 6, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit

These snakes grow to just 11 inches long

Texas Blind Snake Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Family
Leptotyphopidae
Genus
Rena
Scientific Name
Rena dulcis

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Texas Blind Snake Conservation Status

Texas Blind Snake Locations

Texas Blind Snake Locations

Texas Blind Snake Facts

Prey
Insect larvae, ants, termites
Fun Fact
These snakes grow to just 11 inches long
Litter Size
1-6 eggs
Diet
Carnivore
Common Name
Texas blind snake

Texas Blind Snake Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Silver
  • Pink
Skin Type
Scales
Length
4-10 inches
Venomous
No
Aggression
Low

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“These snakes grow to just 11 inches long”

The Texas blind snake is sometimes called a Texas slender blind snake or a Texas threadsnake. These are fitting names for a snake with a very narrow body that measures just four to eleven inches in length. The diet of this snake includes insect larvae, ants, and termites. It’s not venomous and lives in a woodland, savanna, or shrubland habitat. This small snake is docile and sometimes kept as a pet.

4 Texas Blind Snake Amazing Facts

  • It doesn’t have any teeth so it cannot bite its prey or humans
  • These tiny snakes are known to eat the ants and parasites living in a nest full of eastern screech owl chicks
  • They are sometimes found in homes living in moist, dark areas such as inside ductwork
  • They can release an odor in an effort to deter predators such as armadillos

Where to Find a Texas Blind Snake

The Texas threadsnake lives in the United States in North America. Specifically, it lives in Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. It also lives in the northeastern part of Mexico.

These are burrowing snakes living underground in moist soil. They are known to show up above ground after heavy storms. Not surprisingly, they are often mistaken for earthworms! Just think of how many times you’ve seen earthworms on the sidewalk after a rainstorm.

Texas Blind Snake Scientific Name

Rena dulcis is the scientific name of the Texas blind snake. Dulcis is a Latin word meaning sweet. It’s unclear what this description refers to. Its family is the Leptotyphopidae and its in the class Reptilia.

The subspecies of this snake are:

  • Rena dulcis rubellum
  • Rena dulcis supraorbicularis

Texas Blind Snake Population and Conservation Status

The population of the Texas slender blind snake is estimated at more than 100,000 adults. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists this snake as Least Concern, but has no information on whether the population is growing, decreasing, or stable.

How to Identify Texas Blind Snake: Appearance and Description

The first thing to learn about the appearance of the Texas blind snake is it looks a lot like an earthworm. It has brown or reddish glistening skin with a silver tone to it. But, if you look closely at a Texas threadsnake and an earthworm, you’ll see the Texas threadsnake has scales while an earthworm does not.

Its eyes are two small black dots on its head. Their eyes look like they are buried beneath layers of opaque scales. The snake measures four to eleven inches long and is about the width of a pencil.

The Texas blind snake has a blunt head, no teeth, and its lower jaw is shorter than its upper one.

How to identify a Texas blind snake:

  • Brown, reddish shiny scales with silver tone
  • Two tiny black eyes beneath its opaque scales
  • A blunt head

Texas Blind Snake Pictures

A Texas blind snake
Texas blind snakes have brown or reddish glistening skin with a silvery tone.

Texas Blind Snake: How Dangerous Are They?

The Texas slender blind snake is not poisonous. In fact, it has no teeth, so it doesn’t bite. Even if it did have teeth, this creature’s mouth and head are so small, that its bite would be painless. You may not even notice it!

Though not dangerous, the Texas blind snake is sometimes called a nuisance by homeowners. These snakes can live inside ductwork or even beneath the foundation of a home. They don’t cause structural damage, but can sometimes make their way into the living area of a home.

While the Texas blind snake doesn’t bite, it’s a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after handling it. Someone who keeps this snake as a pet should certainly make it a habit to wash up after handling this snake. Snakes can sometimes carry bacteria on their scales that are not visible to a human’s eyes.

Texas Blind Snake Behavior and Humans

Texas blind snakes are timid and hide underground the bulk of the time. When they are found in a home’s ductwork or elsewhere, they can be removed by a professional. However, these snakes eat insect larvae, termites, and ants, so some homeowners may decide to leave the snakes alone to conduct their business!

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Texas Blind Snake FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Texas blind snakes venomous?

No, Texas blind snakes are not venomous.

How do Texas blind snakes hunt?

Despite its name, this snake is not completely blind. It can see some light but uses its sense of smell to track down chemical trails left by its prey of ants and termites. When it finds an insect or insect larvae, the Texas slender blind snake uses its lower jaw to rake the prey into its mouth and swallows it. This method of eating its prey has been compared to a household vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt from a carpet.

Are Texas blind snakes aggressive?

No. Texas blind snakes are docile and timid. Their gentle temperament has made them a popular pet with some reptile fans. Of course, just as it hides in the wild, a Texas blind snake kept as a pet is likely to hide in its enclosure as well.

Where do Texas blind snakes live?

They are found in the United States in Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Northeastern Mexico is another area where these snakes live.

What do Texas blind snakes eat?

They are called insectivores eating termites, ants, and insect larvae.

Are Texas blind snakes really blind?

No. They can see some light but depend on their sense of smell to detect chemical trails left by their insect prey.

Is Texas blind snake poisonous?

No, they aren’t poisonous.

Where are Texas blind snakes found?

They live in a woodland, shrubland, or savanna habitat. This snake uses its blunt snout like a shovel as it digs and burrows into the moist soil creating tunnels.

Sometimes they make their way out of their usual habitat and into a home where there are plenty of insects to eat.

How big do Texas blind snakes get?

These are considered very small snakes growing to a maximum length of 11 inches.

How do you get rid of Texas blind snakes in the house?

The best way to get rid of Texas blind threadsnakes is to make your home less appealing to them. Move piles of logs, debris, and other yard waste away from the outside of your home. These elements attract insects which makes your home attractive to these snakes.

Also, check for pathways that lead beneath your home to its foundation. Close up those pathways to discourage Texas blind snakes from finding a cozy place to live.

Sources
  1. EOL, Available here: https://eol.org/pages/792144
  2. Earth Touch News Network, Available here: https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/animal-behaviour/screech-owls-keep-blind-snakes-as-live-in-housekeepers/
  3. IUCN Redlist, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/64057/12740793
  4. The Reptile Database, Available here: https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Rena&species=dulcis&search_param=%28%28search%3D%27Rena+dulcis%27%29%29
  5. USA Snakes, Available here: https://usasnakes.com/rena-dulcis-texas-blind-snake/
  6. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rena_dulcis
  7. The Pet Enthusiast, Available here: https://thepetenthusiast.com/snakes-that-look-like-worms/

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