Common Name: Kenyan Sand Boa, East African Sand Boa Scientific Name: Eryx colubrinus
Kenyan Sand Boas are very neat little snakes. They are small in size and easy to care for in captivity. They are available in a range of attractive colors and patterns. These little guys are the most commonly kept Sand Boa in the hobby, and it is no wonder why. I love their personalities as well as their looks and ease of care.
Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Northern Somalia, Northern Chad, Western Niger, Egypt & Western Liberia. One reported specimen found in Yemen.
Semi-desert, scrub savannas and rocky outcroppings.
This species is sexually dimorphic with females being considerably larger than males. Females can reach lengths on average up to 28+/- inches and 500-1000 grams of weight, while males top out at 18+/- inches and under 200 grams usually.
More than 15 years on average in captivity.
Kenyan Sand Boas are generally docile animals. They can be timid outside of the enclosure due to wanting to burrow and hide, but they rarely bite. Babies can be nippy, as most young snakes are.
Kenyan Sand Boas do well on a mouse diet their entire life. Larger specimens can be fed rats. Babies should be started on live mouse pinkies weekly while adults can be fed on a lighter feeding schedule of every 10-14 days with appropriate sized food items. KSB's can be switched to take frozen thawed readily with patience.
Kenyan Sand Boas are hardy creatures that can handle a range of temperatures, but do best kept at 80-85F with a basking spot of 90-95F. Ambient temperature can drop to 75F with no ill effects.
Humidity should be relatively low, around 40-50%.
Housing KSB's is very simple. These animals can be kept in a variety of enclosures from aquariums to tubs, to more professional display setups. An adult male could easily be kept in something the size of a 10 gallon or 16 qt Sterilite tub, while females require a little more space and would be comfortable in a 20 gallon or 28qt Sterilite. Neonates can be housed in large deli cups, critter keepers and 6 qt Sterilites.
As far as substrates go, I would recommend something they can burrow in such as aspen or recycled newspaper. I personally avoid sand, as do other breeders as it isn't the most sanitary solution and ingestion could cause problems.
Kenyan Sand Boas are relatively easy to breed. Both animals should be in good condition and of breeding size. Males can breed around 100 grams of weight and 1.5-2 years old while females should be 200-300 grams at least and 3 years old. Some breeders recommend 200+, others play it safe and wait till at least 300. Some breeders cool their animals at 65-75F from December to the beginning of March. In March, slowly bring the temperature back up to the normal range. In April, the female should be introduced to the male. Some breeders separate the pair every few days and reintroduce while others just leave them together the entire time. Breeding takes place the next few months. Babies are usually born late summer and into fall. The female will shed before giving birth to live young. Gestation can take 4+ months and the female can give birth to 15-30 young.
Kenyan Sand Boas are awesome little snakes who make a great snake for both the beginner and the experienced keeper. They stay small, eat well and generally have docile temperaments. They come in many different varieties and are undeniably adorable.