One of my hiking friends recently mentioned seeing a tiny snake as he hiked at Radnor Lake in Nashville. He estimated the snake’s length as two inches, which really surprised me; I’ve never seen, or even heard of, a snake that small. The subject of peewee snakes came up when I mentioned that Mike E. and I came across a small ringneck snake during an April 2012 hike at Percy Warner.
His diminutive guess was totally ironic, considering the standard tendency for snake and fish length estimates to skew high.
The newly identified species, Leptotyphlops carlae, measures just 3.9 inches long and was found under a rock on the western Atlantic island of Barbados. Two other extremely small snakes, L. bilineatus from Martinique and L. breuili from Saint Lucia, were identified nearby, suggesting that the world’s three smallest snakes are all Caribbean threadsnakes. (Source: Spaghetti-Thin Snake Is World’s Smallest – Discovery News)
His microscopic snake length estimate led me to look into the matter more deeply. What is the smallest snake in the known world these days? This sort of herpetological trivia was totally my bag as a kid, but less so these days.
Resources: Smallest snakes in the United States, the world
This post was started on Sunday, April 29, 2012