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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Check Out These Ssseriously Cool Burrowing Snake Facts

Interesting burrowing snake facts for kids.

Have you ever heard of a snake that can bury itself in the soil within seconds? In a few moments, you will know everything about these skillful snakes! There are numerous species of burrowing snakes found in different parts of the world. For example, the genus Atractaspis is known by the common name, African burrowing snakes; the sole member of the Loxocemidae family is known as the Mexican burrowing snake (Loxocemus bicolor); and another species endemic to Central America and Mexico is called the Middle American burrowing snake (Adelphicos quadrivirgatum). There are several other species such as the blind burrowing snake, the Amazon burrowing snake, and the banded burrowing snake. These are found in different parts of South America, Australia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The length of the species varies. Species such as African burrowing snakes are 12-40 in (30-102 cm) long, while the average length of Middle American burrowing snakes is 2.2-14.4 in (5.5-36.5 cm). The former has a small head that is rounded at the front, small and tiny eyes with round pupils, long pointed teeth, and fangs to inject venom. These fangs are mainly found in either brown or black variants of the snake. The latter species is pale reddish-brown and possesses four to five black narrow stripes. The Loxocemus bicolor species has a narrow head and small eyes, the body is quite muscular and patches of white scales can also be found.

Their diet mainly includes lizards, centipedes, worms, frogs, and eggs. The IUCN has listed several species of burrowing snakes in the Least Concern category, but threats such as human encroachment are destroying the habitat range of the species.

Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the burrowing snake. For more relatable content, check out our articles on the anaconda snake and the scarlet snake.

Burrowing Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a burrowing snake?

As the name suggests, these snakes generally dwell in burrows and underground tunnels. There are several species of burrowing snakes found throughout the world, such as the African burrowing snake, the Mexican burrowing snake, and the Middle American burrowing snake.

What class of animal does a burrowing snake belong to?

Burrowing snakes belongs to the class Reptilia. The species found in Africa belongs to the genus Atractaspis, while the Loxocemus bicolor species belongs to the Loxocemidae family.

How many burrowing snakes are there in the world?

The exact population of these snakes is not known as of now, but different species are found in different countries. The IUCN also suggests that the population of these snakes is stable as of now.

Where does a burrowing snake live?

These snakes are found in several countries of Africa, South America, North America, and Australia. Other burrowing snakes are also found in a few countries in the Middle East such as Israel and Jordon. The geographical range of Mexican burrowing snakes includes Mexico and different countries in Central America.

What is a burrowing snake's habitat?

Burrowing snakes inhabit burrows and underground tunnels. You can find them in sandy soils and the damp soil of lowland forests, the drier sands of grasslands, and desert-like areas also serve as their habitats. Species found in Texas resemble earthworms during the spring season. These snakes are rarely seen on the surface except during the monsoon season.

Who do burrowing snakes live with?

Very little has been studied about the behavior of burrowing snakes, but it is believed that these snakes are solitary and prefer to live alone. These snakes are best known for their underground lifestyles but they generally come out of their tunnels to find mates during the breeding season.

How long does a burrowing snake live?

The exact life span of the burrowing snake is not known as of now as most of its life is primarily spent in burrows and tunnels. The life expectancy of snakes generally increases if kept in captivity, while most wild snakes live for around 10-12 years.

How do they reproduce?

Only the reproduction patterns of only Atractaspis (African burrowing snake) genus are known as of now. These snakes generally come out of their tunnels and burrow during the reproduction season. Females of every species except one are oviparous and their average litter size varies. Females lay around three to 15 oblong-shaped eggs in a clutch.

The eggs are laid either in moist soil or inside an old and unused termite nest. The eggs are incubated for around six to eight weeks, and males do not provide any parental care. One species, Jackson's centipede eater, gives birth to only two or three young ones and the average length of these young snakes is around 4-8 in (10-20 cm).

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has listed several species in the Least Concern category, but threats such as human encroachment are destroying the habitat range of the species and disturbing its ecology. Another major threat to the species is predation.

Burrowing Snake Fun Facts

What do burrowing snakes look like?

The African burrowing snake has a long body, a small head that is rounded at the front, and small and tiny eyes with round pupils. Long pointed teeth and fangs to inject venom are mainly found in either brown or black variants. These reptiles use their fangs to prey on animals like lizards and rodents.

These burrowing snake facts would make you love them.

How cute are they?

People don't often find these reptiles very cute, but species such as Middle American burrowing snakes resemble earthworms which is quite cute! Also, seeing these snakes dig their own burrows is entertaining.

How do they communicate?

Like other snakes, burrowing snakes uses similar methods to communicate with each other. Snakes generally use pheromones or chemical cues to find their mates, they come out of their burrows in the breeding season. Their scales also blend with their environment.

How big is a burrowing snake?

The length of the species varies. Species such as African burrowing snakes are 12-40 in (30-102 cm) long, while the average length of Middle American burrowing snakes is 2.2-14.4 in (5.5-36.5 cm). African burrowing snakes are twice the size of common garter snakes and smooth green snakes.

How fast can a burrowing snake move?

The exact speed of these snakes is not known, but these species are known as ambush predators. They can be quite quick while catching their prey and they grab insects, lizards, and rodents with their sharp teeth.

How much does a burrowing snake weigh?

No information regarding the weight of burrowing snakes is available as of now.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female snakes, so people generally refer to them as male burrowing snakes and female burrowing snakes, respectively.

What would you call a baby burrowing snake?

Like other snakes, terms such as neonate, snakelet, hatching snake, and juvenile are used to refer to the baby of a burrowing snake. The average length of a neonate is around 4-8 in (10-20 cm).

What do they eat?

This reptile is a carnivore and its diet primarily includes, lizards, centipedes, rodents such as mice, small snakes, the eggs of iguanas, and many more.

Are they poisonous?

The snake generally does not prefer to spend time around humans, but the powerful venom of a burrowing snake can be very dangerous to humans. It can make a person very sick and can even cause fatalities. The African burrowing snake possesses backward-curved fags at front of its mouth that are used to grab its prey and inject venom. Also, this snake will strike again and again if someone tries to threaten or bother it.

Would they make a good pet?

It is advised not to keep a pet burrowing snake as they are highly venomous and can make people very unwell. If they are kept as pets, people generally feed frozen mice to these snakes and it is always suggested that any food should be given to these animals with extreme care.

Did you know...

Apart from burrowing snakes, several other terrestrial species such as sand boas, black-headed pythons, and womas dig burrows. Vipers are also found in burrows.

There are so many types of burrowing snakes, including the Florida burrowing snake, the blue burrowing snake, and the eastern burrowing snake.

How do you identify a burrowing snake?

These snakes generally inhabit burrows and underground tunnels. Some species are long and thin, while some are stout and muscular. Unlike other snakes, burrowing snakes possess smooth scales. The Middle American burrowing snake species is pale reddish-brown and possesses four to five black narrow stripes. The Loxocemus bicolor species has a narrow head and small eyes. Its body is quite muscular and patches of white scales can also be found.

Are burrowing snakes endangered?

The IUCN has listed several species in the Least Concern category, so they are not endangered. However, threats such as human encroachment have led to the destruction of their habitat and another major threat to the species is predation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our rubber boa facts and vine snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Indian Burrowing snake coloring pages.

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