If you are fascinated by snakes, you might be curious to know which ones are the smallest in the world. In this blog post, we will introduce you to the top 10 smallest snakes in the world, based on their average adult length. Some of these snakes are so tiny that they can fit on a coin or a pencil!
10. Slender glass snake (Ophisaurus attenuatus) – 8.7 to 11.8 inches (22 to 30 cm)
The slender glass snake is not actually a snake, but a legless lizard that looks like a snake. It has eyelids and ear openings, unlike true snakes. It is called a glass snake because it can break off its tail when threatened, and the tail can shatter into pieces like glass. The slender glass snake is found in the southeastern United States, where it lives in grasslands and woodlands. It feeds on insects, spiders, worms, and small reptiles.
9. Smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) – 8.3 to 10 inches (21 to 25 cm)
The smooth green snake is a bright green snake that lives in North America, from Canada to Mexico. It prefers moist habitats, such as meadows, marshes, and forests. It is a harmless snake that rarely bites, and it feeds on insects and spiders. The smooth green snake is often kept as a pet by snake enthusiasts, as it is easy to care for and handle.
8. Ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus) – 7.5 to 9.8 inches (19 to 25 cm)
The ribbon snake is a slender and colorful snake that belongs to the garter snake family. It has three longitudinal stripes: one yellow or orange stripe along the back, and two black stripes along the sides. The ribbon snake is found in eastern and central North America, where it inhabits wetlands, ponds, streams, and lakes. It is an aquatic snake that feeds on fish, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, and worms.
7. Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus) – 7.1 to 8.3 inches (18 to 21 cm)
The ringneck snake is a small and secretive snake that has a distinctive ring around its neck. The ring can be yellow, orange, red, or white, depending on the subspecies. The rest of the body is usually black or gray. The ringneck snake is widespread in North America, from Canada to Mexico. It lives under rocks, logs, leaves, and other debris, where it hunts insects, worms, slugs, snails, and small reptiles.
6. Shorthead garter snake (Thamnophis brachycephalus) – 6.7 to 8 inches (17 to 20 cm)
The shorthead garter snake is a rare and endangered snake that is endemic to California. It has a short head and a long body, with three yellow stripes along its back and sides. The shorthead garter snake lives in coastal grasslands and chaparral habitats, where it feeds on lizards, frogs, fish, and worms. It is threatened by habitat loss, road mortality, and predation by other animals.
5. Lined snake (Tropidophis lineatus) – 6.3 to 7.1 inches (16 to 18 cm)
The lined snake is a small and nocturnal snake that has two dark lines along its back and a yellow belly with black spots. It is native to Cuba and some nearby islands, where it lives in rocky areas and forests. It feeds on snails and slugs, using its sharp teeth to crack their shells. The lined snake is sometimes kept as a pet by hobbyists who appreciate its unique appearance.
4. Texas blind snake (Leptotyphlops dulcis) – 4.7 to 5.9 inches (12 to 15 cm)
The Texas blind snake is a worm-like snake that has no eyes or scales. It has a pinkish-brown body with tiny black dots along its sides. It is found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it burrows underground in sandy soils. It feeds on ants, termites, larvae, and eggs of other animals. The Texas blind snake is harmless to humans and often mistaken for an earthworm.
3. Variegated snail-eater (Sibynomorphus leucostictus) – 4.3 to 5.1 inches (11 to 13 cm)
The variegated snail-eater is a specialized snake that feeds exclusively on snails and slugs. It has a brown body with white spots and blotches along its back and sides. It is native to South America, where it occurs in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. It lives in moist forests and grasslands, where it uses its flexible jaws and teeth to extract the soft bodies of its prey from their shells.
2. Brahminy blind snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) – 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12.7 cm)
The Brahminy blind snake is a tiny and eyeless snake that is also known as the flowerpot snake. It has a shiny black body with a blunt head and tail. It is native to Southeast Asia, but it has been introduced to many other parts of the world, such as Africa, Australia, and the Americas. It lives in soil, compost, and plant pots, where it feeds on ants, termites, and larvae. The Brahminy blind snake is parthenogenetic, meaning that it reproduces without mating and produces only female offspring.
1. Barbados threadsnake (Tetracheilostoma carlae) – 3.94 to 4.09 inches (10 to 10.4 cm)
The Barbados threadsnake is the smallest snake in the world, measuring less than 4 inches in length. It has a slender brown body with a yellowish tail tip. It is endemic to Barbados, where it lives in forest litter and leaf debris. It feeds on larvae and eggs of termites and ants. The Barbados threadsnake is critically endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
These are the top 10 smallest snakes in the world. They may be small, but they are fascinating and diverse creatures that deserve our respect and conservation.