Kenyan Sand Boa

Kenyan Sand Boa Gongylophis colubrinus

Type of Animal:

Semi-desert, deserts/desert margins, vegetated sand dunes, savannah scrub habitat, rock outcroppings, prefers loose soils (especially sandy ones)

Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, E Central African Republic, NE Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, N Tanzania

Yellow to orange coloration w/ dark brown splotches, white/cream belly, small head, small eyes, short tail, females much larger than males, many morphs exist in captivity, males have longer tails, young have more distinctive dark bands

Small mammals, birds, lizards

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture


Additional Info:

Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary

Male: 2.47-3.53 oz
Female: 14-31.74 oz
Young: 1 oz

4 months 

Life Span:
10-12 years in wild, 15-20 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 1.25-1.5 ft
Female: 2.3 ft
Young: 1 ft

Main predators are monitor lizards, raptors, larger snakes, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
Also called Egyptian Sand Boa & East African Sand Boa.
In hotter periods, it will seek refuge beneath stones & in burrows.
Like all boas, kill prey by constricting & swallowing whole.
Like most boas, they’re ovoviviparous w/ eggs developing inside mom’s body, resulting in 4-32 live young.
Eyes/nostrils on top of head so they remain free of sandy debris.
Like most boas, they’re ambush predators.
Sexually mature at 2 years old.
Most often crepuscular (active at dawn & dusk) or nocturnal (active at night).
Often, males have to dig females from sand before mating.

Fun Fact(s):
Fairly popular pets due to docile temperament.
When threatened, they’ll bury themselves quickly into soft ground.
When food scarce, they can go over a year w/o any food.
Tail looks somewhat like head-good adaptation to confuse predators.
80% of life spent under soil.
Sharp scales on tail can be used in defense.

Kenyan Sand Boa, stock photo

8 thoughts on “Kenyan Sand Boa

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