2 Types of Snakes Found on Antigua & Barbuda (2024)

Below you will learn about the types of snakes found in Antigua and Barbuda.

Because of the geographic isolation of the islands, there are not as many snake species as you might expect here.

2 SNAKES that live in Antigua and Barbuda:

#1. Antiguan Racer

  • Alsophis antiguae

snakes in antigua and barbuda

Found on Antigua and Dominica.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are typically about 39 inches long, with females larger than males.
  • Young adult males are usually dark brown with light creamy markings, while young adult females are usually silver-gray with pale brown markings.
  • Older snakes of both sexes may vary widely in color and pattern and are often heavily speckled or blotched in white, taupe, black, brown, or reddish brown.

Antiguan Racers are among the rarest snakes in the world!

They prefer to live in shady woodlands with dense undergrowth but may occasionally be spotted on beaches and rocky outcrops. They’re a rear-fanged species and are harmless to humans.

Antiguan Racers are diurnal and spend their nights hidden in sheltered spots. They hunt during the day, feeding primarily on lizards. While they occasionally actively hunt, Antiguan Racers are generally ambush predators, hiding in the leaf litter until their prey is close enough to strike.

snakes in antigua and barbuda

Sadly, these snakes are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. At one time, these snakes probably inhabited all the islands of the Antiguan Bank, but research in the 1990s found them only occurring on Great Bird Island.

Their populations plummeted as European settlers developed the islands into plantations and introduced black rats, which feed on the Antiguan Racer’s eggs. In addition, mongooses, which were also introduced, eat the racers too.

In the last 20 years, conservation efforts and a reintroduction to other islands have been successful, increasing their estimated population from about 50 to 1,100 individuals. Unfortunately, Antiguan Racers still face threats from hurricanes and other climate-related threats, low genetic diversity, limited prey numbers, and human persecution.

#2. Leeward Blindsnake

  • Antillotyphlops geotomus

snakes - virgin islands

Due to their rarity, the above picture is not a Leeward Blindsnake, although it looks very similar.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 5.1-10.2 cm (2-4 in) long.
  • The body shape is worm-like, and they are easily mistaken for earthworms.

It is really hard to see these SMALL snakes in Antigua and Barbuda.

That’s because Leeward Blindsnakes spend the majority of their life underground. To find one, you typically must look in moist soil and under logs and stones. Even then, these snakes are so small they are easy to miss.

Because Leeward Blindsnakes spend most of their life underground, they don’t have very good eyesight. Take one look at them, and you will notice they look more like small worms than the other snakes that live in Antigua and Barbuda. 🙂

There isn’t a lot known about their abundance, ecology, or distribution due to their secretive nature. But their main source of food tends to be the larvae of ants and termites.

Despite its rather creepy appearance, this snake is completely harmless to humans.

Which of these snakes have you seen before in Antigua and Barbuda?

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