(thanks to Dave and Tracy Barker and Dave Sorenson for supplying pictures of
this almost unknown snake!)
Mueller's Sand Boa, Saharan Sand Boa
For an explanation of my use of the genus Eryx for this taxon (as opposed to Gongylophis) see the taxonomy
This is one of the poorly known taxa of Sand Boas. Eryxmuelleri is found in the western part of
Africa in the southern Sahara, from Mauritania east into the eastern Sudan. Tokar (1995) looked at specimens from
Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and Sudan. It probably also occurs in Mali, Niger,
and Chad. The approximate range is shown in the map to the right.
In general appearance, the West African
Sand Boa is very similar to the East African Sand Boa, E. colubrinus, but differs in having a hooklike
"claw" on the end of its tail. The color pattern is generally a yellowish to orange background with
rounded or oval dark brown blotches.
This species has recently been imported into the United States by Dave and
Tracy Barker of VPI Pythons. They say
these are docile creatures which are adjusting well to captivity.
Hopefully this will lead to a captive population of this beautiful little
Due to the presence of these recently imported snakes in the US, we now have
learned that this species (like E. jayakari) lays eggs. The
eggs were laid very late in development and hatched within 14 days of being
This photo shows the what is probably the first captive born Eryx
muelleri ever seen! This snake was produced by Bruce Miller of
Redding Reptiles. Many thanks
to Bruce for allowing me to use the photo..
Roman, Benigno. 1980. Serpents de Haute-Volta (Snakes of Upper Volta). C.N.R.S.T. Ouagadougou. pp. 105-106.
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