Kenyan Sand Boa

ANIMAL:
Kenyan Sand Boa Gongylophis colubrinus

Type of Animal:
Boa/Python

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

Location(s):
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

Appearance:
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

Food/Diet:
Small mammals, birds, lizards

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary

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

Gestation:
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

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