The Spotted Sand Boa (Eryx jaculus)
captive born jaculus from Turkish parents
(courtesy of Thomas Müller)
Spotted Sand Boa (courtesy Dave Sorenson)
Turkish Sand Boa, Greek Sand Boa, European Sand Boa, Blind Snake
The Spotted Sand Boa is a Sand Boa of the Mediterranean shores. It is found from Greece east and south through
the Middle East and west into north Africa. It is found on several Mediterranean islands (including Sicily!? (Tokar,
1991)). To the west it also found in Iran and Iraq, and north into Azerbaijan. In north Africa it is
found from Egypt west into Morocco.
There have been a number of different subspecies associated with this species. However, Tokar (1991) found that
the subspecific divisions were unwarranted and I follow his taxonomy here.
This species can be very difficult to identify with certainty without good locality data. I have had the snake in
the picture for 6 years before I realized it was probably an E. jaculus rather than E. tataricus.
For further information on the Spotted Sand Boa, I refer you to an excellent article in the April 1990 issue of the Vivarium
by Stephen Simpson and Angela Ellis (see references).
Simpson, S. and A. Ellis. 1990. The Hardy and Prolific Sand Boa. Vivarium 4(2):20-24.
Tokar, A.A. 1991. A revision of the subspecies structure of the javelin sand boa Eryx jaculus (L. 1758)
(Reptilia Boidae). Herpetology of Central Asia, Leningrad: LISS Publ. 1: 18-41 (in Russian).
© Chris Harrison