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Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Suborder Serpentes
Family Leptotyphlopidae


Leptotyphlopidae—Blind Snakes

Synonyms. A recent revision of the family (Adalsteinsson et al. 2009) changes the generic name of our regional blind snakes from Leptotyphlops to Rena. These are very small animals, sometimes called worm snakes since they superficially resemble earthworms. The eyes are vestigial. Teeth are limited to the lower jaw. These are specialists preying on ants and termites.


Rena sp.—Blind SnakesDistribution of fossil Leptotyphlops in New Mexico

Leptotyphlops humilis, photograph by Carl S LiebVan Devender and Worthington (1977) recovered a number of vertebrae from a small, burrowing snake of this genus. The current ranges of the two species, Rena dissecta and R. dulcis, likely include the fossil site.

Fig. 1. Western Blind Snake (Rena humilis). Photograph courtesy of Carl S. Lieb.


Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977).

Literature. Adalsteinsson et al. 2009; Van Devender and Worthington 1977.


Rena humilis Baird & Girard, 1853—Western Blind SnakeRegional distribution of Pleistocene Rena humilis


Late Wisconsin: Picacho Peak (Mead 2005).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene:Wolcott Peak (Van Devender and Mead 1978: cf.).

Literature. Mead 2005; Van Devender and Mead 1978.


Last Update: 17 Jan 2013