Rough-scaled sand boa (Gongylophis conicus)
One male sand boa has lived at the Zoo since 2011. He was born in 2000. The rough-scaled sand boa is relatively small compared to other snake species. Females are much larger than males of this species, reaching up to 3 feet in length while males often do not exceed 2 feet. The head of a rough-scaled sand boa is covered in small scales and they have tiny eyes with vertical pupils.
Status in the wild
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. The rough-scaled sand boa is protected from illegal export under CITES Appendix II, so international trade is restricted.
The rough-scaled sand boa prefers sandy regions and arid grasslands, however they are also found in cultivated landscapes, wetland forests and dry prairie lands. The inhabit eastern Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and the arid regions of northern Sri Lanka.
Rough-scaled sand boas eat a variety of rodents such as mice and small rats, as well as lizards and small birds.
- The scales of the rough-scaled sand boa are heavily ridged, which gives this snake its name.
- These snakes will become inactive during very cold and extremely dry weather conditions, a condition known as torpor.
- The rough-scaled sand boa lives around 20 years in the wild, and may live longer in captivity.
- Rough-scaled sand boas are one of the most common snake species in captivity due to their docile nature and easy handling.