Eryx columbrinus loverdgei

Kenyan Sand Boa













Origin: East Africa

Size: average 22-24 inches for females, average 15 inches for males

Age: late teens

Active: nocturnal

Habitat: semi-arid regions, sand desert, low humidity

Captive Care: 10 gallon tank for babies, 20 gallon for a pair of adults, with several inches of sand ( or newspaper), no suculant plants, only dry weathered driftwood, manzanita branches, and rocks. Heavy cage furnature must be firmly affixed, as the animal will tend to burrow under stuff and could be squashed. Cage humidity must be keept low, but the animal should have access to drinking water. One solution is to use a small "Rubbermaid"-type container with a hole cut in the top as a water dish and partly bury it in the sand. Never fill the dish more than half full. Undertank heating for half the tank establishes a thermal gradient. A humidity box, a plastic box with an access hole cut in the lid or upper side, half filled with damp spagnum moss or vermiculite, aids in shedding. The box must be checked frequently for droppings or mold.

Temperature: gradient from 94-96F to 77-84F

Lighting: incandescent light for warmth

Foods: neonates prefer lizards or pinkies sented with lizard odor. Some will accept newly born mice. Feed weekly when young, decreasing the frequency as they mature. They are mature at 15 monthes. Adults feed on lab mice or rat pups. They need access to drinking water at least periodicly and it is best to feed them at night.

Breeding: Easily bred in captivity. Breeding begins in mid-late spring and parturation occurs about 4-5 monthes later in late summer or early autunm. Using 2-3 males with one female increases better success with larger litters. When females are gravid, they prefer warmth, and may seek basking sites which exceed 95æF. Females breed biennially. The young are fairly large, about 8 inches long, and they usually have 10-20 per litter.

Temperment: They are head shy, so approach from the rear.

Bartlett, Dick. The Kenyan and Other Familiar Sand Boas. Reptiles , Dec. 1997. p48-56.
Ross, M.D., Richard and Marzec, Gerald (1990) The Reproductive Husbandry of Pythons and Boas. Institute for Herpetological Research, PO Box 2227, Stanford, CA 94305.
Walls, Jerry G. (1994) Boas, Rosy and Ground. T.F.H. publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ. 64pp.

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