Rosy Boa, Lichanura trivirgata

The Rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata) is commonly found throughout the southwestern areas of The United States, but may be found in parts of northwestern Mexico as well. A member of the Boidae family, the Rosy boa inhabits coastal desert canyons, rocky, desert slopes, creek-beds, and hillsides with large boulders.

The Rosy boa is commonly fully grown measuring just over 3 feet. The species ranges in color from a yellowish, to tan or slate grey and 3 varying types of stripes run the length of their bodies. The Rosy boa’s name is derived from a pinkish or rose coloration found on the ventral (belly) side of the species, but not all Rosy boas share this trait.

The Rosy boa feeds mostly on small mammals but the species has been known to hunt birds and lizards when opportunity presents. Tending to be rather slow, the snake must stalk or wait to ambush its prey; it then uses the constriction method to complete the hunt. When threatened, the snake coils up and hides its head in protection, leaving its tail free to fend off the disturbance. The Rosy boa additionally produces a pungent, foul odor that is used to deter its attacker.

The Rosy boa is non venomous and its passive nature allows the species to flourish in captivity. It is not recommended to take the snake from the wild but captive bred boas are common. A more vibrant, colorful skin is a sign of a healthy, prospering pet.

It is typical for weather and moisture to dictate the Rosy boa’s activity. Brumation, a dormant state the snake slips into, usually occurs throughout winter. Springtime brings the most active season for the Rosy boa, the breeding season. Approximately six live young are born to an adult female boa.

Image Caption: Rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata). Credit: Shane O. Pinnell/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)