Rosy boa

Charina trivirgata

SUBFAMILY Erycinae

TAXONOMY

Charina trivirgata Cope, 1861, Cape San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Boa a trois bandes; German: Deistreifen-Rosenboa. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The rosy boa is a small, heavy-bodied snake with a small head that is barely distinct from the neck. The eyes are small, and the pupils are vertical. The tail is relatively long and thick, coming to a blunt point. The scales are smooth and shiny. Large specimens attain considerable bulk and girth. Adult females are about 28-36 in (71-95 cm) in total length; most adult males are 18-26 in (46-67 cm). The maximum size of this form approaches 4 ft (1.3 m).

DISTRIBUTION

The species ranges across southern California, southwestern Arizona, and northwestern Mexico.

HABITAT

This is a saxicolous species, strongly associated with rocky canyons and rocky ridges and hills.

BEHAVIOR

Rosy boas are usually docile snakes that are deliberate in their actions and reluctant to bite in defense.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Small rodents and lizards make up the bulk of the diet.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

A gravid female will complete a shed 16-20 days after ovulation. Usually babies are born 100-120 days after that shed. Litters typically are born from mid-August to early October. Clutch size is reported to vary from one to 13; most litters number four or five.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This is a very popular snake species in captivity; every year, thousands of captive-bred rosy boas are born. ♦

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