Rough-scaled sand boa, Gongylophis conicus

The Rough-scaled sand boa (Gongylophis conicus) is a member of the Boidae family. The species inhabits eastern Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and regions of northern Sri Lanka. Commonly found among sandy regions and arid grassland, the rough-scaled sand boa has been found among dry steppes, agricultural areas and even into some of the wetter forests.

Rough, heavily ridged scales give the snake its common name. The rough-scaled sand boa is a heavy-bodied snake. An adult male measures roughly 24 inches, with females measuring nearly a foot longer. Typically colors vary from a light tan to grey and a connected zigzag pattern runs the length of its body.

The rough-scaled sand boa feeds mainly on small mammals such as mice and rodents, though small birds and lizards may become victim as well. The species is nocturnal by nature. A protective condition known as torpor causes the snake to go inactive in very cold and extremely dry conditions.

An adult female rough-scaled sand boa gives live birth. Throughout gestation the female snake rarely feeds. Between 3 and 12 babies are born in one breeding period.

The rough-scaled sand boa is non-venomous and has an extremely passive nature. Easily handled it will flourish in captivity and is among some of the more popular species to be kept as pets.

Image Caption: Rough-scaled sand boa. Credit: Sandilya Theuerkauf/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)