Kenyan Sand Boa Care Sheet:
Species Overview: The Kenyan Sand Boa, scientifically known as Eryx colubrinus, is a small and unique boa species native to East Africa. These snakes are known for their burrowing behaviour and distinctive appearance, making them fascinating pets for reptile enthusiasts.
Enclosure: For the optimal well-being of Kenyan Sand Boas, it's best to provide a spacious enclosure. A 20 to 30-gallon terrarium or custom-built enclosure is recommended for a single adult, but larger is always better. A longer enclosure allows for more natural burrowing behaviour.
Substrate: Use a substrate that allows for burrowing, such as aspen shavings, cypress mulch, or a sand/soil mix. Provide a substrate depth of at least 3-4 inches to accommodate their burrowing habits.
Hiding Spots: Include at least two hides, one for the warm end and one for the cool end of the enclosure. These hides provide security and comfort for your snake.
Temperature and Lighting:
Temperature Gradient: Maintain a temperature gradient within the enclosure. The warm side should be around 85-90°F (29-32°C), and the cool side can be around 75-80°F (24-27°C). You can achieve this with an under-tank heating pad or heat tape.
UVB Lighting: Kenyan Sand Boas are primarily nocturnal and do not require UVB lighting. Providing a low-level white light during the day for a natural day-night cycle is sufficient.
- Humidity Levels: Kenyan Sand Boas do not require high humidity levels. Maintain humidity between 30-40%. A water dish will provide the necessary humidity for shedding.
Size: Adult Kenyan Sand Boas are relatively small snakes, with females typically reaching lengths of 2-3 feet (61-91 cm), while males are smaller. Despite their smaller size, providing a larger enclosure allows them to exhibit their natural behaviours more comfortably.
Diet: Kenyan Sand Boas are carnivorous and primarily eat appropriately-sized rodents, such as mice and small rats. Offer food once every 1-2 weeks for adults.
Supplements: There's no need for supplements for these snakes if they are fed a balanced diet.
Maintenance and Cleanliness:
Spot Cleaning: Remove waste and uneaten prey items promptly to maintain a clean enclosure.
Substrate Maintenance: Periodically sift and replace soiled substrate to keep the enclosure clean.
Behaviour and Handling:
Kenyan Sand Boas are generally docile but may be shy. Minimize handling to reduce stress. When you do handle them, be gentle and avoid sudden movements.
Wash your hands before and after handling to ensure their safety and hygiene.
Providing an optimal-sized enclosure for your Kenyan Sand Boa allows them to express their natural behaviours, stay healthy, and lead a comfortable life. Remember to observe your pet's unique behaviours and needs and adjust care accordingly.