Calabar boa

Charina reinhardtii

SUBFAMILY

Erycinae

TAXONOMY

Charina reinhardtii Schlegel, 1848, originally designated as "Old Calabar, West Africa" and now annotated to "Gold Coast."

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Burrowing python, Calabar ground python; German: Erdpython.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The Calabar boa is a small species that only rarely grows longer than 30 in (80 cm). The head is small and not distinguished from the neck. The body is round, the skin is soft, the scales are smooth, and the tail is blunt. Individuals are dark brown or black with red or orange scales randomly scattered on the body. Hatchlings have white markings on their tails that disappear with age.

DISTRIBUTION

The species occurs in west and central Africa from Guinea and Liberia east to Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and into Zaire.

HABITAT

The Calabar boa is associated with forest, soft soil, and leaf litter. It most often is seen out and moving after rains, both during the day and at night.

BEHAVIOR

Calabar boas form a tight ball with the head in the middle and use the tail as a decoy. The tail of wild adults usually is scarred. So strong is the instinct for this defensive behavior that even captive-hatched and raised animals rarely will uncoil when handled. This species never bites in defense.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

In nature the diet includes rodents and insects. In captivity the species eats rodents at all ages.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The Calabar boa is oviparous; relative to body size, the eggs are immense. The eggs are delicate and thin-shelled. Clutch size ranges from one to 12 eggs; most clutches number two to four eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not known.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

It is reported that this species is feared by some local people, who believe that it has two heads. ♦

Was this article helpful?

0 0
My Life My Diet

My Life My Diet

I lost over 60 pounds and 4+ inches off my waist without pills, strenuous exercise, or any of the things that the diet experts tell you to do...and I did it in less than 4 months! If you have the desire, and can read through my e-book , then this is for you! I could have easily made it a lot more difficult, with stacks of information that people will never read, but why?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment