Below you will learn about the types of snakes found in Montserrat.
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 Montserrat:
#1. Montserrat Racer
- Alsophis manselli
Found only in Montserrat.
- Adults may reach 3.3 feet in length.
- They have a broad dark brown to black stripe down their back that is broken up by a double alternating series of yellowish spots towards the front (head) of their body.
As the name suggests, these snakes are only found on Montserrat. They occupy rainforest, forest edges, dry scrub, dry forest, and banana and coconut plantations. They may also be found around human dwellings.
These snakes primarily feed on lizards and small rodents. Montserrat Racers rarely bite humans and are considered harmless. However, if threatened, they may release a foul-smelling cloacal secretion.
Montserrat Racers are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. They face a significant threat from habitat loss and are estimated to have lost about 30% of their available habitat. They are also threatened by human persecution and exposure to invasive predatory animals like mongooses.
#2. Montserrat Worm Snake
- Antillotyphlops monastus
The above picture is not a Montserrat Worm Snake, although it looks very similar.
- 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 Montserrat.
That’s because Montserrat worm snakes 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 Montserrat worm snakes 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 Montserrat. 🙂
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.