Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet

Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet

Gongylophis (Eryx) colubrinus a.k.a the Kenyan Sand Boa. Though their name states they can be found in Kenya, you may also find them in Egypt, western Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Chad, Niger and northern Somalia which is why some call them the East African sand boa.


 Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet


From the family Boidae, these burrowing reptiles are some of the most common kept snakes in the pet trade. It's easy to see that when you understand that they don't get very large and come in a variety of colors and patterns. There are Striped variations, Paradox variations, Albinos, Anerys, Snows and more! Which means that they have a variety of price ranges.

These beginner pet snakes seldom bite rather than having spasms when handled incorrectly. Which is why it's important to pick them up carefully and calmly. Though rare, if they do bite DO NOT WORRY! It doesn't hurt. 


Environment, Size, and Necessities

These robust boas stay relatively small with males growing 15-18 inches and females growing 25-30 inches. Which means they are a perfect pet snake for someone who wants to keep a small tank indoors! Adults can be kept in a 20 gallon tank, 32 qt bin, or a v-35/v-35s bin depending on the rack you may keep them in. Babies can live in 6 qt tubs, v-15 bins, or 10 gallon tanks. Some keepers even keep their babies communally.

Since sand boas love to burrow, they spend most of their time tucked into their bedding. Therefore picking the right substrate is important. With a requirement of roughly 60% humidity they do well on aspen bedding or sand (just like their name). They require an ambient temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit partnered with a hot spot of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. A proper heat mat is recommended instead of a basking light.

Slow and steady wins the race. These pet Kenyan sand boas eat small meals weekly! Babies will start on pinky mice and adults will grow to eat medium-large mice and some may even eat jumbo mice. When feeding and keeping them properly they can live for 20-30 years.


 Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet



Just like their name "Boa" implies, they give LIVE birth! They're not only sexually dimorphic by size, but females are also bulkier. To be safe you can pop them carefully to invert their hemipenes (if it's a male). These are reproduced readily and easily in captivity. Some breeders cool down their breeders late December and heat them up in February to trigger mating. Before the cool down you must make sure your animals are a good size. During the cool down it's important to make sure your animals are hydrated.

Once they wake from the cool down period, you may offer food. And once they're eating well again you can start your pairings! You may introduce males into females enclosures for up to 3-7 days, then separate to feed. Repeating for a couple of months can ensure viable litters. Do not worry if you do not see copulation because sometimes they will mate in private. If you are worried about your males not breeding you may put two males into a cage to have them combat for a short time to raise testosterone. 

Pregnant females eat less and less as they develop close to giving birth. Try to give her privacy as she reaches this due date. Baby sand boas are usually born between October - April. They can have litters from 5-30 babies! Once you have babies, you may set them up appropriately before offering any meals. Separating them from mom is important as sometimes the mothers can eat their younglings.

  Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet




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