Kenyan sand boa questions

Feel free to move to correct place!

So I’ve been looking at sand boas for a while now.
As always online there’s all sorts of different answers so thought best to ask on here as seen a few pics!
Heating, lighting? Best ones?
What size viv is best, can a pair live together (online people are doing it and saying yes but I’m not so sure that’s best for them?..)
Best substrate for them? I’ve seen a lot of people use what looks like Aspen…
I just assumed sand boa… Sand… :sweat_smile:
Handling, from what I’m reading, very tame. Which is awesome if true as my daughter loves handling everyone here.
Any inputs, images of them and set ups you all have? Anything appreciated! :blush:

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I’ve got a pretty sizeable collection of Eryx colubrinus that are doing well, so lemme take a crack at some of these questions. I’m going to start by recommending Warren Treacher’s “The Sand Boa Book”. Tons of great info in that book, I recommend it to anyone who’s serious about keeping sand boas, especially Eryx colubrinus.
Most of my sand boas are housed in a rack system. The hot side stays at about 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit except for during the pre-breeding cooling cycle. Lighting is non-crucial. In the wild, these are animals that spend most of their time in burrows and come out at night. I keep humidity slightly higher than many other keepers (a lot of folks are recommending 30% or lower, but seeing as these animals favor living in humid burrows in the wild, offering a humid hide is a good idea in my opinion) as it helps prevent stuck sheds and I’ve never seen signs of respiratory problems in my animals.
For substrate, I use sani-chips. While sand is in the name, sand boas in the wild usually aren’t living in sand, they’re living in soil and loamy earth. Sand as a substrate isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it can sometimes play a role in bowel obstruction if injested, and when wet it can clump around the animals mouth and nose. Sand, however holds heat pretty well compared to other substrates and young sand boas especially seem to appreciate this. I also offer each of my boas a small deli cup full of damp sphagnum moss, they love to burrow in it, especially when they’re getting ready to shed. These guys also appreciate any flat, solid terrain that they can hide underneath, cork flats and the terra cotta dishes that go underneath planting pots are great.
For cohabitating multiple animals in the same enclosure. Currently, I do not do this outside of breeding. While it’s probably fine to house multiple females, or multiple females and a single male together, the animals will inherently be competing for resources and this can pose problems, especially considering how small the males are in comparison to the females. I’ve never witnessed it myself, but I’ve heard talk of sand boas cannibalizing each other and this remains one of my biggest fears in housing any animals in the same enclosure.
For handling, these guys are very tame once they get comfortable. A lot of them can be jumpy and squirmy at first, but I’ve never had any of mine strike or attempt to tag during an attempt at handling. They seem to stress of handling a little bit quicker than larger animals, so I usually limit encounters to about 30 minutes or less.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


Thankyou so much for all that! And I’ll look into that book too, can’t go wrong with a good read!
Absolute star :star:

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Happy to be of any assistance. East African sand boas are a really special (and, in my opinion wildly underrated) species. Absolutely some of my favorite snakes.

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