If you ever saw a black and white worm lizard (Amphisbaena fuliginosa) and thought it was a snake, you aren’t alone.
But though these lizards may look like snakes, they actually aren’t.
Black and white worm lizards are one of only two species of legless lizards found in TT.
“These lizards are often confused with snakes. So people often incorrectly say that they are black and white coral snakes,” wildlife rehabilitator Hukaymah Ali told Newsday Kids.
At the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation, Ali helps rescue distressed animals and nurse them back to health.
Black and white in colour, adult lizards can grow up to 70cm in length and weigh 100g according to the University of the West Indies.
Their diet includes small insects.
Though they love to burrow – which means they spend most of their time underground – it’s not uncommon to spot these lizards above ground.
So, if you ever cross paths with one in the wild or even under some galvanize sheets at home, there’s no need to be afraid.
They are non-venomous but can give a small bite if handled incorrectly.
For your safety and the safety of the lizards, Ali said they should not be picked up with your hands.
“If people see one of these lizards, they can just pick it up with a scoop and broom to move it away to a garden area or a patch of bush so it can go on its merry way,” said Ali.
Although they may look cool, they should not be kept as pets.
So, if you see one around your house and want to keep them around, the best thing to do is to leave them to exist naturally in your yard.