LEPTOTYPHLOPS SP NCN ATTACKED BY OWLS. Burrowing Owls Athene cunicularia are known to include snakes and other reptiles in their diet (Konig et al 1999). On 15 November 2005 at Laguna Blanca, Departamento San Pedro, Central Paraguay (23o48´S, 56o43´W) a recently dead specimen of Leptotyphlops (tentatively identified as L.albifrons) was found close to the nesting burrow of a colony of burrowing owls. The individual showed fresh puncture marks to its sides and damage to its head consistent with an attack from the predatory owls. The specimen was small (TL = 200mm) and posed no threat to the owls who were feeding recently fledged young, but may have been killed as a precautionary measure by the adult owls. The damage inflicted to the head meant that identification to species level was not possible, but the coloration, morphometrics and scale pattern of the individual were consistent with L.albifrons (Cei JM 1986). However caution must be exercised in the identification of this extremely difficult group and taking into account the damage to the head of the specimen it seems best to consider it unidentified. Paraguayan law prevented collection of the specimen and it was later consumed by a scavenging Four-toed Whiptail Lizard Teius teyou.
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