Bulletin 15 November 1981: The Sand Boa -- Eryx Jayakari

The Sand Boa -- Eryx Jayakari

by Bish Brown

The first group record for this snake was from Leyahlia Plantation about 60km southwest of Al Mafraq flyover, near Sahil, on 21 August 1981.

It was 9in (230mm) long and between 5-13mm in diameter. The body was flat beneath with a ridge along the upper surface. The underside was white, but elsewhere it was an overall pale orange brown with darker brown blotches. The head was a notable wedge shape and only slightly distinguishable from the body. Eyes were situated right atop the head, the pupils being oval slits. The tail was very short and prehensile and the snake moved by means of sideways undulations, corkscrew fashion.

This species inhabits soft sandy areas, emerging mainly at night, but it will rapidly retreat beneath the surface if disturbed. It eats small lizards which it kills by constriction. When fully grown, the Sand Boa is reputed to reach a length of 18in (465mm).


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