Snakes Come in Large and Small Packages -Nov. 25, 2013

Earlier this morning I released and photographed the boa then did a little birding in a patch of tropical dryland forest.This morning’s bird highlight was this Roadside Hawk screaming repeatedly from its perch next to the road.

Roadside Hawk at Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Roadside Hawk at Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

I had just returned to the house we were sharing with four other people. The house was very comfortable with three bedrooms each having its own shower.

Casa Jardines - our home for five nights

Casa Jardines – our home for five nights

Actually it was a surprisingly reasonably priced lodging ($85.00 per night for Linda and I) with a refrigerator, modern stove and all the amenities you’d expect. Here’s a view of the living room.

First thing I did upon entering was retreat to our bathroom and began to change out of my long pants into some shorts. Imagine my surprise when I hear Jill Whitener screaming that there was a snake in her bathroom!!   All kinds of thoughts popped into my mind. Were they kidding me about last night’s  boa?  Had a snake actually slithered into the house? I quickly threw some shorts on and rushed into Jill & Bill’s bathroom.  On the tile was a very small skinny black thing no more than five inches long that looked like a millipede.  But as soon as it moved, I knew it was a snake!!  I quickly grabbed it and put it into a coffee mug.  This was totally unbelievable.

Black Blind Snake (Leptotyphlops goudotii) on some carpet.

Black Blind Snake (Leptotyphlops goudotii) on some carpet.

After checking through my field guide we realized that it was a Neotropical Slender Blind Snake (Leptotyphlops goudotii) often called Black Blind Snake.  This snake is widespread in the drier regions of the tropics ranging from Mexico south to Columbia and Venezuela.  They often are found in gardens where they are beneficial, both aerating the soil and  devouring pests. I’ve also uploaded some video of this snake – here’s a link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgprLLDQj0k&feature=youtu.be

This blind snake is also the smallest snake in Costa Rica.  Here’s a size comparison.

Black Blind Snake in a coffee cup.

Black Blind Snake in a coffee cup.

Amazing!  Last night we find a boa, the largest snake in Costa Rica and this morning the smallest snake in the country.  Truly, snakes come in large and small packages.

John & Linda with Jill & Bill Whitener

John & Linda with Jill & Bill Whitener

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One Response to Snakes Come in Large and Small Packages -Nov. 25, 2013

  1. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    Astonishing that it could be that small. I’ve never seen any version of that family.

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