Red Sand Boa

Eryx johnii


Thick body. Neck is not prominent. Shovel shaped scale at the tip of the snout. Distinct small eye, with vertical pupil. Very blunt tail with rounded tip. Rounded head like shape of the tail gives rise of the misbelief that the species has two heads. Reddish-brown, dark brown, speckled gray color variables are available with yellow or black banded tail. Belly white or brown/with brown spots.

Length: 2.5ft to maximum3.25ft.


Scales in 53-67 rows. Ventrals 190-210, distinctly narrower than width of belly; anal tripartite (a larger median scale with a smaller scale on each side); subcaudals 20-34, entire. Supralabials 10-12; scales between eyes (across forehead) 6-9; scales around eye 10-11. Mental groove present.

Habitat and Reproduction:

They can be found in dry places and sandy soil areas. Often live in rodent burrows. Feeds on birds, rodents, and snakes. The species is ovoviviparous. Gestation period is 4-5 months. Females give birth to 6-8 live young in June.


This species is very gentle and docile, looks inoffensive.


Records are available from all over India, but mostly observed in the drier regions. The species is found in sandy areas near water bodies. Not present in the higher altitudes. This species has distribution records from Pakistan and Nepal.

In Chhattisgarh it is found from Raipur, Durg (Charoda), Gariyaband (Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve), Rajnandgaon districts.



Skin trade, pet trade and its use by charmers pose serious threats to them. Charmers demonstrate this species as it has two heads. In addition road kills and agricultural conversion of lands elevate the risk. 

Important Tags

Red Sand BoaBoidae Eryx johnii

Red Sand Boa
Scientific Name
Eryx johnii
Mitti ka Boa sanp, Do muha saap
Venom Type
Look Like


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