Rough Scale Sand Boa Advice

Hello all,

I purchased a 1 year old male Rough Scale about 2.5 weeks ago from a breeder near me. This is my first time keeping any kind of sand boa.

Breeder had him feeding on F/T fuzzies. I let the conicus settle into his new setup for a couple of days before I offered him his first meal in his cage. He showed no interest. I left him alone and have been offering him a fuzzy (I have tried both live and F/T at this point) about every 4 to 5 days, in the evening when I see him stick his head up from the substrate, with no luck.

Based on the info the breeder provided, he last ate on 9/25. I also went over my setup with the breeder and he said my setup sounded fine.

How long can these Boas safely go on a hunger strike?
Any tips for getting them started feeding?

My only experience with a shy feeder has been a Pueblan Milk Snake, who I have to leave the F/T mouse on a dish in his cage, cover that side of his cage with a towel, leave him alone for an hour, and the mouse is gone when I come back.

Any insights on Rough Scale Sand Boas would be appreciated.

Hey don’t worry about this it’s very typical of males I’ve been thru this same thing and my first male went about 5 months before eating 2 live fuzzies that I left in over night I’m not sure if having 2 stimulated him Into eating but he ate both I know a lot of breeders say that their adult males only eat maybe 12 times a year too but just make sure that his temperature and general husbandry are on point and then don’t put one in as often like take a week or 2 off then try to feed then repeat and don’t even open his cage other than to clean or change water in the in-between time

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And tubs really can stimulate a feeding response for these guys or tight small dark enclosures that is idk if u have him in a big glass display cage but that could also contribute to his hunger strike

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I’ll be more patient.

He is in a glass aquarium (part of why I bought a male was I was looking for a “desk buddy” for my home office). It has the same footprint as a standard 10 gallon, but is half the height with a built in sliding screen lid. 2inches of shredded aspen, under tank heating pad, hot side directly above the heating pad is low 90s on top of substrate (at the glass bottom above the pad it is 110), cool side and ambient is about 79-81. Humidity is 40-50%.

The setup is next to my desk and I had it open on all sides. Today I covered the side and back glass so that only the front pane is open for viewing. I am hoping the additional privacy helps him feel secure.

I’ll go back to leaving him alone for longer stretches and just change the water regularly.

I have a couple small tubs I use for transport. I’ll give that a try next if the hunger strike continues past October.

Thanks again.


Yea I don’t keep mine quite as hot I have a hot spot of 92 but I don’t know about 110 at the bottom of the tank especially considering how often they sit on the bottom and I keep a cool side of around 72- 75 and even lower at night sometimes during that time of year some people might not agree with that but I find mine spend lots of time around 75 degrees just chilling on their cool side of the enclosure and still remain active and feeding but in general I try to keep most of the substrate at 80 or so with the cold side 75 and maybe 85 on the opposite end and the hottest spot is the the bottom of the tub where they can seek it out when they want to warm up or digest

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Going to drop the temperature. Because of the amount of substrate, I was trying to get it to about 95 at the middle layer, 1 inch above the heat pad.

In emailing with another breeder, he was telling me that 86F hot spot was what he has found to be the ideal temp for his.

I wish there were more info online specifically about care for rough scales. The majority of what I have found just refers to care guides for Kenyans.


There’s a pretty good article in reptiles magazine it’s an older article I think but pretty informative

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So my sand boas (not RS though) I keep in 10 gallon aquariums with several good inches of bedding and several half buried hides. They typically don’t get messed with except feeding days and I always feed outside of their tanks in tiny tubs. The tubs are then partially buried in the aquariums and they are left alone for at least 30 min to eat in peace. Can attest to cramped spaces for feeding working best But I don’t like feeding in tank because of risk of ingesting substrate. If one is off feed I will wait two weeks before trying again.

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Thanks for the article. That was great to read. Now wondering if I need to adjust humidity.

I may try container feeding on my next attempt with a f/t. Going to leave him alone for now and give him a week and a half to hopefully relax.