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The Elegant Sand Boa (Eryx elegans)


Once again, I have to acknowledge my gratitude to Dave Sorensen for providing me a photo of this poorly known taxon.


Other names

Persian Sand Boa, Central Asian Sand Boa, Sand Blind Snake


Introduction

This is one of the poorly known Sand Boas.   They occur in NE Iran, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.   Several authors report them as occurring in India, but this may stem from their inclusion in Gunthers's Reptiles of British India.   However, Gunther's reference is to a single specimen from Afghanistan.   This species does not appear to occur in modern day India.   Few specimens are in US museum collections and even fewer are being maintained in captivity.

E. elegans are small snakes and are relatively drab.   Adults rarely exceed 16 inches.   They are reported to live under and among rocks and shrubs in hilly and mountainous regions (from 800-2400 meters in elevation), and are often found in canyons and gorges.   Ataev (1985) removed one from a rodent burrow.   Wild and captive specimens have eaten mice and voles.

They are believed to be nocturnal, although Ataev (1985) reports seeing a few out in the middle of the day in the spring.   Their localized distribution in mountainous terrain has hampered efforts to learn more about them.

There is no published information on the captive care of this species except that captive specimens have eaten field mice.


References

Ataev, C. A. 1985. Reptiles of the Mountains of Turkmenistan. TSSR Academy of Sciences, Ashkabad. (in Russian)

Latafi, Mahmoud. 1991. The Snakes of Iran. Society for the Study of Reptiles and Amphibians Contributions in Herpetology, Number 7.


Go on to the Spotted Sand Boa
Return to the Genus Eryx
Return to the Sand Boa Home Page


Chris Harrison

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