Gongylophis colubrinus

Kenya sand boa

The Boa da Areia is known as the "two-headed snake" due to its tail being very thick with a rounded tip, just like the shape of its head.

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Length 1m
Lifespan 400 days
Diet Lizards, small mammals and birds
Reproduction up to 14 cubs
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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The body of the Kenya sand boa is robust and cylindrical, with a short tail. The head is the same width as the body and has strong scales at the tip of the snout which, in conjunction with the wedge-shaped shape of its head, allows it to burrow and bury itself in the sand. Its colour ranges from brown to yellow and orange.



It is a species of crepuscular habits, burying itself in the sand or hiding in burrows of other animals. When threatened, it curls up on itself and hides its head, exposing the tail whose tip is similar to the head, wagging it in order to deceive predators.
Mating takes place in spring. The young are born 4 to 6 months later, and a litter has, on average 10 young. It is an ovoviviparous species.



According to some researchers, records of Kenya sand boa have declined in some areas and it is believed that poachers have to work harder and harder to catch them. It used to be common to see them in agricultural areas, however, it is now rare. The size of the population in the wild is unknown. In Egypt, it is present in at least three protected areas and in several protected areas in East Africa.

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