Ramphotyphlops exocoeti (Boulenger, 1887:517)

Christmas Island blind snake



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonyms: Typhlops exocœti Boulenger, 1887:517 (basionym); Typhlops exocoeti Boulenger, 1887:517; Typhlina exocoeti (Boulenger, 1887:517); Typhlops capensis Rendahl, 1918


Typhlops capensis was synonymized with R. exocoeti by (Wallach & Glaw, 2009). It has previously been thought to have been collected either in South Africa or Madagascar ([url=]source[/url]).


Conservation Status

Last record: 1985 or 1986

Rediscovered on 31 July 2009

IUCN status: Vulnerable


This species was last seen in 1985 or 1986 (sources vary), with only sporadic sightings before that indicating that it was never common, or was inconspicuous. It was rediscovered in 2009 (Maple et al. 2012).



Christmas Island, Australia


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: closed forest, fossorial, nocturnal."

(Cogger et al., 1983:196)



Only five museum specimens are known (Cogger et al., 1993).



BMNH 1946.1.11.78 (Cogger et al., 1983:196)

BMNH 1946.1.11.79 (Cogger et al., 1983:196)

Type locality: "Christmas Is., Indian Ocean" (Cogger et al., 1983:196)






Original scientific description:

Boulenger, G.A. (1887). Reptiles. In: Günther, A. (ed.). Report on a zoological collection made by the officers of H.M.S. ‘Flying Fish’ at Christmas Island. Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 55(3): 516-517.


Other references:

Australasian Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group. (1996). Ramphotyphlops exocoeti. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 04 February 2013.

Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. (1991). Annual Report 1990-91. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

Boulenger, G. A. (1900). Reptilia, pp. 51-54. In: Andrews, C. W. (ed.). A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). British Museum of Natural History, London, UK.

Cogger, Hal. (2005). Background Information on Lister’s Gecko, Lepidodactylus listeri and the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Typhlops exocoeti. Prepared for the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.

Cogger, Hal. (2006). National Recovery Plan for Lister’s Gecko, Lepidodactylus listeri and the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Typhlops exocoeti. Prepared for the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.

Cogger, Harold G., Cameron, Elizabeth E. and Cogger, Heather M. (1983). Typhlopidae, pp. 194-199. In: Zoological Catalogue of Australia. I. Amphibia and Reptilia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. vi + 313 pp. [p. 196]

Cogger, Hal G., Cameron, Elizabeth E., Sadlier, Ross A. and Eggler, Peter. (1993). The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles. Canberra: Australian Nature Conservation Agency. [pp. 127-129]

Cogger, Hal G. and Sadlier, Ross A. (1981). The terrestrial reptiles of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Report to the Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service. Sydney: Australian Museum. 194 pp.

Cogger, Hal G., Sadlier, Ross A. and Cameron, Elizabeth E. (1983). The terrestrial reptiles of Australia's island territories. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Special Publication 11: 1-80.

Geyle, Hayley M. et al. (2021). Reptiles on the brink: identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology 27: 3-12.

Gibson-Hill, C. A. (1947). The terrestrial reptiles [of the Christmas Islands]. Bull. Raffl. Mus. No 18: 81-86. [relevant citation?]

James, D. (2005). Summary of records and information for the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops exocoeti. Unpublished report to Parks Australia North, Christmas Island.

Maple, Dion J., Barr, Rachel and Smith, Michael J. (2012). A new record of the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops exocoeti (Reptilia: Squamata: Typhlopidae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 27: 156-160.

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Rendahl, H. (1918). Zwei neue Arten der Gattung Typhlops aus dem Kaplande. Arkiv för Zoologi 11(17): 1-6.

Smith, Michael J. et al. (2012). An oceanic island reptile community under threat: the decline of reptiles on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 7(2): 206-218.

Wallach, Van and Glaw, Frank. (2009). A new mid-altitude rainforest species of Typhlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from Madagascar with notes on the taxonomic status of T. boettgeri Boulenger, T. microcephalus Werner, and T. capensis Rendahl. Zootaxa 2294: 23-38. [Abstract]


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