Swell Superstore Sand Boa

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Sand Boas are a small species of snake that originate from the Savannah scrub lands, desert margins and other arid regions of Eastern Africa where they prefer looser sands to burrow in. Being 'new world' sand boas, ours are black in colour with orange patterns on the top of their bodies, a nice contrast, making them an attractive snake. Despite their small size they are quite heavy bodied, with females often exceeding males, and have a flat head and small eyes. They can be a little feisty and jumpy at first but usually tame down with practice and can become a nice pet to handle.

Product Information

The most popular and available Sand Boa, the Kenyan Sand Boa, is a colourful and petite snake. Though ours are the 'wild type' in colouration, they can come in a variety of genetic morphs, such as albino or anerythristic, and can be a very interesting pet to keep. Common behaviours for this species can make them elusive at times but their bright colours and tame-ability still make them a nice pet, especially when also considering their compact size - great for someone without a lot of space. We recommend an enclosure of 3 x 2 x 2ft in size to allow for some good activity and stretching out. An essential aspect of this enclosure is first the deep substrate which will provide good opportunity for them to burrow. An example of something you could useis Arcadia's Arid EarthMix, or a sand soil mixture which will enable the shape of tunnels to keep whilst ensuring the humidity doesn't exceed the lower levels required of the species. Other additions could include a number of surface hides, smaller branches and logs, tunnels and foliage to make for an interesting and interactive environment, giving them plenty of mental stimulation and activity potential as well as making for a more natural setting. It is however recommended that heavy decorations, such as rocks should be avoided as the sand boa will often shift the foundations when digging around, and can cause heavy items to fall down upon themselves. You could also place larger items to the bottom of the tank before laying in the substrate.

Your enclosure should have a basking temperature of around 35C, going down to about 22-25C on the cooler end, and this can drop a little more overnight to simulate a natural day and night cycle to around 15C. These basking temperatures are best reached with a basking bulb or ceramic heat emitter - protected with a guard, which should always firstly be thermostatically controlled to ensure your animals safety. This heat source should be off to one end of your vivarium to provide the required gradient, and all temperatures monitored with a digital thermometer. The sand boa would also unavoidably be exposed to low levels of UVB in the natural environment and this has shown to be beneficial to their health as well as creating a more natural setup and providing day and night cycles. A good example of a relevant UV bulb is the Arcadia ShadeDweller or a 6% T5 (this will be depended on the height of the enclosure). This bulb will be used in a 12 hour cycle and should be changed every 12 months - after which, the UVB would have faded (lifespan is also bulb dependent).

Sand boas are a low humidity species which will probably not require any intervention to reach (around 40%) but should be offered water in a small but sturdy dish, to ensure it's not knocked over with all their moving around - if any substrate does get excessively wet, it should be replaced as soon as possible to reduce the chance of mould growing and humidity rising. Additionally ensure the water is on the cool end of the enclosure, to avoid evaporation.

Sand boas do well on a diet of defrosted mice once weekly. Although they are heavy bodied, they are still a small snake and shouldn't need the extra protein of rats. You will often find that it is best not to disturb them if possible when feeding and to offer the mouse on top of the substrate - the movement on the surface can bring them up and they might surprise you when they pounce! The mouse will grow with the size of your snake using the body condition, particularly after feeding to judge this.

Swell SuperStore Sand Boa:

  • Current Age/Size - sub-adult (40-45cm approx)
  • Adult Expected Size - up to 2ft/60cm
  • Habitat - Savannah scrub lands, desert margins and other arid regions of Eastern Africa. Terrestrial living.
  • Required Enclosure Size - 3 x 2 x 2ft
  • UV Lighting - 2 - 3 UVI (ShadeDweller or 6% strip bulb - height dependent)
  • Expected Lifespan - 15 -20 years
  • Temperature Gradient - 22 - 35C
  • Humidity Levels - 40%
  • Feeding - Defrosted mammals once weekly (mice recommended)
  • Handling - Can be fiesty and jumpy at first, will often tame. One person handle. Handling to be avoided 48 hours after feeding and when shedding)

If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at shop@swelluk.com.

PLEASE NOTE - If you are looking to purchase a particular animal we would require photos of the set up the animal will be going in. Photos should include one of the whole set up and one of the lighting detailing uv strengths and temps as well as thermostat. We would recommend you provide these before travelling to us, via email.

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