return to main index
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
 
click here for Helix Controls
This Space Available
3 months for $50.00
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Rattlesnake Friday! . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Box Turtle . . . . . . . . . .  Richmond Reptile Show - July 23, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptilian Nation Expo Fresno - July 23-24, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Deland - July 23, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Atlanta - July 23-24, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  NY Metro Reptile Expo - July 24, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Chicago Herpetological Society Meeting - July 27, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Memphis - July 30-31, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Savannah - July 31, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  SHS Los Angeles Meeting - Aug. 03, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 03, 2016 . . . . . . . . . . 

The Indian Sand Boa (Eryx johnii)


Other names

Smooth Sand Boa, Smooth-scaled Sand Boa, Brown Sand Boa, Red Sand Boa, John's Earth Snake, Two-headed Snake, Black Earth Boa

Introduction

The Indian Sand Boa is the largest Sand Boa, occasionally reaching over 4 feet in length.   They are slenderer than the Rough-scaled Sand Boa.   Adults are uniform brown in color, varying from tan to dark blackish brown.   Some adults can retain the orange coloration of neonates, as seen in the male in the above picture.

Babies, however, are orange with black bands (this photograph is of a two month old baby).   As they age, the orange fades and the body takes on its dark brown coloration.   During this change they can be brown with scattered specks of orange, often with faint dark bands.   Adults of the western subspecies (E. j. persicus - represented in the top photograph) retain the juvenile banding on the tail.
The tail is very blunt and shaped like the head.   When threatened, an Indian Sand Boa will hide its head and hold its tail up in the air and wave it back and forth.   This may also explain the prominence of the banding on the tail of juveniles and adults.   The moving banded tail is more likely to be attacked than the concealed head.   (This is the same behavior used by other Erycine snakes including the Rubber Boa and the African Burrowing "Python").   As tribute to the effectiveness of this display, many wild caught adults have scarred tails.   Indian snake charmers will also disfigure the snakes tail to look more like the head and advertise them to their clients as "two-headed" snakes.

Indian Sand Boas occurs throughout the drier areas of India and east through Afghanistan, Pakistan and into southeastern Iran. It occurs on plains and other areas of flat clay soils.   Like many of the other Sand Boas, it is not restricted to, nor typical of, sandy soils.

Indian Sand Boas in Captivity

The Indian Sand Boa is becoming increasingly popular in captivity in the United States.   This is due not only to the fact that the babies are very attractive, but also to the fact that these are very personable snakes.   They stay small and are very docile.   They eat greedily in captivity and captive born babies are becoming more and more readily available each year. In the opinion of many Sand Boa keepers, this is the best species of Eryx to start with.   They are more docile and predictable than the other species and newborn babies are big enough to take pinkie mice.   Unfortunately, because the supply of captive born babies is limited and because the babies are so attractive, they command a higher price than other species.
Indian Sand Boas can be maintained in small cages with a secure hide box or a substrate they can burrow into (I suggest aspen shavings).   They require a water bowl at all times, but it must be stable enough that the snake cannot tip it over as burrows around the cage.   Small dead (weanling) mice are usually readily taken by the adults and juveniles will take large pinkies.   There are some reports that this species will feed on other snakes, so they should be housed separately.   For more information on keeping Sand Boas, see the feeding and housing pages.


References

Daniel, J.C. 1989. The Book of Indian Reptiles. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, Delhi.
Deoras, P.J. 1978. Snakes of India. 3rd ed. National Book Trust, India, New Delhi.
Minton, S.A. Jr. 1966. A contribution to the herpetology of west Pakistan. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 134(2):118-119.
Whitaker, R. 1978. Common Indian Snakes: A field guide. Macmillan India Limited, Delhi.


Go on to the Desert and Black Sand Boas
Return to the Genus Eryx
Return to the Sand Boa Home Page


Chris Harrison

Sponsored Link
advertise here

New & Updated Business Listings
Looking for a reptile or amphibian related business? A reptile store, breeder, importer, maunfacturer or supplier? Our business directory lists some of the most popluar herp businesses in the world.
Locate a reptile or amphibian business by name:
New
• Jungle Bob's Reptile World
• Black Pearl Reptiles
• Dubi Deli
• Serpentine Obsessions
• Best Exotics LLC
• New York Worms
• Pittsburgh Reptile Show & S...
• Boas Peru
• Kick's Balls
• National Reptile Breeders E...
Updated
• Geckos Etc.
• Shores Enuff Snakes
• Underground Reptiles
• Reptile Rapture
• Nature Zone Herp Products
• Animal Specialties
• Kick's Balls
• National Reptile Breeders E...
• Backwater Reptiles
• Henry Piorun Reptiles
list your business on kingsnake.com

Banner Pool
Click here for Freedom Breeder Cages
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info


Sites by OnlineHobbyist.com Inc:
kingsnake.com | NRAAC.ORG | ReptileBusinessGuide.com | ReptileShowGuide.com | ReptileShows.mobi | Connected By Cars | DesertRunner.org | Lizardkeepers
AprilFirstBioEngineering | GunHobbyist.com | GunShowGuide.com | GunShows.mobi | GunBusinessGuide.com | club kingsnake | live stage magazine


powered by kingsnake.com
click here for Helix Controls
pool banner - advertise here $50 year
click here for The Bean Farm
pool banner - $30 year
click here for the Phoenix Reptile Expo
pool banner - $25 year
kingsnake.com® is a registered trademark of OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc.© 1997-
    - this site optimized for 1024x768 resolution -