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Common Sand Boa (Gongylophis conicus)

Common Sand Boa Common Sand Boa Short, thick-bodied; keeled scales; very rough tail; conspicuous, blotched pattern.
AverageLength: 50 cm; At Birth: 12.5 cm; Maximum: 1 m (female)
The overall colour of the common sand Boa varies from yellowish-white to dark brownm with irregular blotches of reddish-brown to black forming an uneven chain down the back. They are stumpy snakes with a very rough tail and a square nose. Superficially, they resemble the Russells Viper; the spots of the latter however are uniform and round. Common throughout India. Habitat is Sandy soil, Rat burrows, brick piles and rocky areas are favored.
Common Sand Boas are mainly nocturnal, and hunt after dark for fresh rodent burrows or lie in wait, with head and neck out of a hole, for a passing rodent. We have seen this technique used successfully in the morning hours after sun-up, when birds and lizards are caught. This snake is timid when first caught, but gets used to gentle handling. The initial defense stance is coiling and quick upward bites which can be surprising and slightly painful but which are, of course,, absolutely harmless The sand Boas typically hide the head beneath the body when provoked. Though less of a digger than the Red Sand Boa, this snake also prefers sandy soils for easy burrowing. Females give birth to 6 to 8 living young May through July- The young are bright replicas of the parents, and resemble saw scaled vipers slightly.
Adults eat rats, lizards, birds, frogs and toads. Effective Rodent controllers.
In some Areas of India it is foolishly believed that the bite or lick of this sand boa causes leprosy or a similar skin disease.

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