Zoo Med Repti Heat Cable  
click here for Helix Controls
Your Text Ad Here! Only 41¢ a day!
click here for details
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
reptile events by zip code list an event
News & Events: Eastern indigo snakes heading back to native range . . . . . . . . . .  Is antivenin manufacturer ripping off snakebite victims? . . . . . . . . . .  Chicago Herpetological Society Meeting - July 29, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  SSAR 58th Meeting - July 30, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Repticon Nashville - Aug. 1-2, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Repticon Dallas - Aug. 1-2, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Jacksonville Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 01, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Hamburg Reptile Show - Aug. 01, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  SHS Los Angeles Meeting - Aug. 05, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 05, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Central Illinois Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 06, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Calusa Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 06, 2015 . . . . . . . . . . 
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn

click to return to kingsnake.com index

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
Click here for LLL Reptile & Supply
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
• Buy Dubia Roaches
• Reptile Rapture
• Backwater Reptiles
• Dubi Deli
• Steel City Reptile Expo
• Reptilinks Whole Prey
• BoaMorph.com
• Xtreme Exotics
• GeckoDaddy.com
• Northern Rodents
Updated
• Bushmasters Online(Ripa)
• Eden Reptiles
• PerfectPrey.com
• Underground Reptiles
• ECO WEAR & Publishing
• Wicked Pythons
• Backwater Reptiles
• Eublah Exotics
• Henry Piorun Reptiles
• South Texas Dragons
list your business on kingsnake.com

Banner Pool
click here for Helix Controls
$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 | Music: club kingsnake | live stage magazine



powered by kingsnake.com
click here for Rodent Pro
pool banner - advertise here $50 year
click here for Reptile SuperShow
pool banner - $30 year
click here for BoaMorph.com
pool banner - $25 year
kingsnake.com® is a registered trademark of OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc.© 1997-
    - this site optimized for 1024x768 resolution -