White Worm Lizard – Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information
White Worm Lizard facts and data. Know White Worm Lizard eating regimen, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so forth See fascinating facts of White Worm Lizard in our animal facts archive.
Scientific title: Amphisbaena alba
What does it seem like? Amongst amphisbaenians, the white worm lizard is without doubt one of the largest species reaching a size of roughly 72 cm. The animal is usually yellowish-white, though an excessive amount of variation in shade exists.
Where does it stay? This species has a large distribution across central and northern South America and happens on some islands within the Caribbean, reminiscent of Trinidad. It is discovered each in forested (e.g., Amazon rain forest) and open (e.g., Cerrado of Brazil and Llanos of Venezuela) areas and is usually related to leaf-cutter ants.
The white worm lizard spends nearly all of its time beneath floor and on the island of Trinidad, they’ve often been discovered within the deep galleries of leaf-cutter ant nests, significantly the rubbish tips, the place the ants deposit their waste and their lifeless.
What are the reptiles doing in these subterranean garbage tips? They are in search of food. This reptile appears to be significantly partial to the larvae of a big beetle (Coelosis biloba), which feeds on waste and detritus within the ant’s garbage pile secure from most predators, however the worm lizard with its lengthy, skinny physique and tunneling talents can simply discover these plump grubs.
The relationship between the worm lizard and beetle additionally includes a small parasitic crustacean, generally known as a tongue worm. These stay within the respiratory tract of the worm lizard, its definitive host. To infect the reptile it should use one other animal, the intermediate host, on this case the beetle grub. The tongue worm’s eggs are discovered within the feces of the worm lizard, which the beetle grub inadvertently ingests.
The worm lizard then devours the contaminated beetle larva reinfecting itself with the tongue worm parasite and the cycle is full! The white worm lizard is a big animal, so earlier than lengthy it could exhaust the availability of beetle larvae in a single leaf-cutter ant nest and have to seek for extra larvae in different nests. To do that it leaves its acquainted subterranean habitat and heads for the floor. Due to its fossorial nature, the animal’s eyesight is sort of nonexistent, so it should make use of an alternate sense to discover one other ant nest. It makes use of its acute sense of scent to detect the pheromone trails left by employee leafcutter ants as they forage alongside the forest flooring.
These trails are markers for his or her nest mates to comply with and they point out the way in which again to the nest. The reptile finds and follows one in every of these trails to its supply. It enters the nest and makes for one in every of refuse tips deep underground to proceed its seek for the fats beetle grubs.