September 28, 2014

Kenyan Sand Boas

Kenyan Sand Boas as Pets:

Whether you are a beginner or an expert in snake care, Kenyan sand boas make amazing pets. They are very small, with the males only reaching 18" as adults and adult females topping out at 30". They are indigenous to the Northeast of Africa and are as prolific in their geographical range as corn snakes are in the United States of America. They are extremely hardy, enjoy being handled and are very small and docile. These are all important factors when choosing Kenyan sand boas as pets


Kenyan Sand Boa Care:

Kenyan sand boas are small, slow and docile miniature boa constrictors. Kenyan sand boa care is very easy. A 10-20 gallon tank can hold multiple adult Kenyan sand boas for their entire life. We recommend using an under tank heat pad to provide a hot spot on one side of the aquarium between 95-105 degrees. We prefer aspen sani-chips for our substrate but any aspen substrate will provide good Kenyan sand boa care.A common mistake is the use of too much substrate, we have found that about 1/4" of substrate for babies and 1/2" of substrate for adults is plenty to provide good Kenyan sand boa care. Provide a small water dish on the opposite side of the hot spot and some decorations. has written and published an 'East African Sand Boa Care Guide' which is available on in paperback and on the Kindle. 


Kenyan Sand Boa Morphs and Genetics:

There are quite a few genetic Kenyan sand boa morphs. Most of the Kenyan sand boa morphs are simple recessive traits but the stripe is a dominant mutations. There is also a internationally accepted line bred mutation called the Nuclear Kenyan sand boa which is a stunningly orangish-red. 

As with any up and coming species, 'new' Kenyan sand boa morphs are being claimed. Some in the past did not prove out to be a genetically reproducible Kenyan sand boa morph. Here is a list of proven Kenyan Sand Boa Morphs:

Recessive Kenyan Sand Boa Morphs/Genetics

Anerythristic Kenyan Sand Boas lack the ability to produce yellow or orange color. They appear black or grey and white and are one of the most popular morphs because of their striking contrasts. The last picture that shows two reduced patterned anerythristic Kenyan sand boas is an example of line breeding for a reduction of pattern that produces anerythristics that have more white than black or grey pattern. 

anerythristic kenyan sand boa anerythristic kenyan sand boa anerythristic kenyan sand boa reduced patterned anerythristic kenyan sand boa

Albino Kenyan Sand Boas lack the ability to produce black pigment. There colors vary from yellow and cream patterned saddles to bright orange and purple colored saddles. The colors are determined by their parentage and by breeding brighter colored parents together can produce some striking orange and cream colored albino Kenyan sand boas.

albino kenyan sand boa albino kenyan sand boas albino kenyan sand boa

Albino Paradox Kenyan Sand Boas are very striking and genetically recessive which means they are one of the few reptiles that the characteristic black spotting aka paradoxing are predictably reproducible. 

albino paradox kenyan sand boa albino paradox kenyan sand boa

Hypomelanistic Kenyan Sand Boas produce less melamin which causes their characteristic brown/black saddling to be a much lighter color. 

hypomelanistic kenyan sand boa

Splash Kenyan Sand Boas lack pattern or have aberrant patterns typically on their bottom third of the snakes. 

splash kenyan sand boa



Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa have a stripe that runs across the top of their bodies. 

stripe kenyan sand boa


Dominant (stripe) and Recessive

Anery Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa

anerythristic stripe kenyan sand boa

Albino Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa

albino stripe kenyan sand boa

Albino Paradox Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa

 albino paradox stripe kenyan sand boa



Dominant (stripe) and Double Recessive

Snow Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa

snow stripe kenyan sand boa


Line Bred (not genetic)

Nuclear Kenyan Sand Boa

nuclear kenyan sand boa nuclear kenyan sand boa


Double Recessive 

Snow (albino/anerythristic) Kenyan Sand Boa

Snow Paradox (albino paradox/anerythristic) Kenyan Sand Boa

snow paradox kenyan sand boa

Ghost (anerythristic/hypomelanistic) Kenyan Sand Boa

Albino Splash (albino/splash) Kenyan Sand Boa

albino splash kenyan sand boa albino splash kenyan sand boa Albino Splash Kenyan sand boa

Anerythristic Splash (anerythristic/splash) Kenyan Sand Boa


Triple Recessive

Snow Splash (albino/anerythristic/splash) Kenyan Sand Boa

snow splash kenyan sand boa


Kenyan Sand Boa Genetics Calculator:

We've been asked for years if we have a Kenyan sand boa genetics calculator. What we suggest using world of ball pythons genetics calculator to determine Kenyan sand boa genetic combination outcomes. To use the world of ball pythons genetics calculator you will have to select a few different ball python morphs to represent the Kenyan sand boa morphs that are not found in ball pythons. Its important to use the ball python morphs suggested as the placeholders for the Kenyan sand boa morphs because they have been selected based on the type of genetics they represent, not necessarily based on the colors of the ball pythons. The purpose is to gain access to a Kenyan Sand Boa Genetics Calculator that will generate a list of statistical odds of Kenyan sand boa morphs that can be produced by a combination of Kenyan sand boas. Once a list has been generated of possible breeding outcomes of a pairing, it will be possible to determine what the Kenyan sand boa babies may look like by referring back to the Kenyan sand boa morphs and genetics section above.

Above we have listed and pictured the Kenyan sand boa morphs and genetics. To determine what a combination of your Kenyan sand boas will produce you will need to go to the world of ball pythons genetics calculator. From the section you will enter the following ball pythons to represent your morphs. It also gives you the option of entering the morphs as 'hets' or heterozygous (non-visible carrier of a recessive gene) along with allowing you to enter multiple genes by holding down the 'ctrl' key.

Normal Kenyan Sand Boa - Normal Ball Python normal kenyan sand boa

Anerythristic Kenyan Sand Boa - Axanthic Ball Python anerythristic kenyan sand boa

Albino Kenyan Sand Boa - Albino Ball Python albino kenyan sand boa

Albino Paradox Kenyan Sand Boa - Albino Lavender Ball Python albino paradox kenyan sand boa

Hypomelanistic Kenyan Sand Boa - Hypo/Ghost Ball Python hypomelanistic kenyan sand boa

Splash Kenyan Sand Boa - Pied Ball Python splash kenyan sand boa

*Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa - Pinstripe Ball Python stripe kenyan sand boa


*Kenyan sand boas genetics calculator adaptation can be done with other genetics calculators so long as the appropriate genome is used to represent the Kenyan sand boa morphs attempting to be paired. The stripe Kenyan sand boa is a dominant trait and use of another ball python without a dominant gene will produce incorrect results.


Example: The pair to bred is a Normal Kenyan sand boa het albiino paradox and a Normal stripe het albino paradox.

In the world of ball pythons genetics calculator enter the following:

Normal Ball Python (Representing Normal Kenyan Sand Boa)

Het Albino Lavender (Representing Albino Paradox Kenyan Sand Boa)


One the other side enter the following

Pinstripe Ball Python (Representing Stripe Kenyan Sand Boa)

Het Albino Lavender (Representing Albino Paradox Kenyan Sand Boa)


The 'Kenyan Sand Boa' genetics calculator will processes the ball python statistical list of possible outcomes. The list of possible outcomes will be: Normal Ball Pythons, Pinstripe Ball Pythons, Albino Lavender Ball Pythons, and Albino Lavender Pinstripe Ball Pythons (all non-visual albino lavenders will be 66% possible het albino lavender).

The next step is to convert the Ball Pythons into Kenyan sand boa babies and see visual pictures of what they will look like. 

From looking at the above list, normal ball pythons are the normal Kenyan sand boas, pinstripe ball pythons are the stripe Kenyan sand boas, albino lavender ball pythons are the albino paradox Kenyan sand boas, and abino lavender pinstripes ball pythons are the albino paradox stripes Kenyan sand boas. By looking above at the picture Kenyan sand boa morphs and genetics guide it is easy to determine what the Kenyan sand boa babies will look like.


Kenyan Sand Boa Breeding Age and Weight:

Kenyan sand boas reach sexual maturity at the age of one year for males and two years for females. Generally, we recommend breeding your Kenyan sand boa males when they reach 75 grams and females at 300 grams. To reach a safe gram weight in a year for males and two for females it requires a weekly feeding regime of one to two appropriately sized mice or rats. Feeding on an every other week schedule can double the length of time it takes for the Kenyan sand boas to reach breeding weight. 


Kenyan Sand Boa Breeding Season:

Kenyan sand boas usually breed in late winter and throughout the spring season. We typically start pairing our male Kenyan sand boas with our females in February and find that successful pairings are less likely to take after May. However, it is not uncommon to have a few females that will breed out of season as we usually have a few female Kenyan sand boas that will breed in the summer and give us litters in the winter. 


How do I know When to Breed my Female Kenyan Sand Boa?

Adult female Kenyan sand boas will shed their skin 3-5 times a year, depending on how often they are fed. We track their shed cycles and if you feed on a consistent basis they tend to shed, not surprisingly, fairly consistently. We track the shed cycles so that we can estimate when they will next shed during breeding season, February-May. After they shed during the breeding season we immediately introduce a male Kenyan sand boa into their enclosure for a week. If we see breeding activity, commonly referred to as 'locking up', we will move the male on to breed to other females. However, if locking up has not been observed during the week, we will remove the male, feed both the male and female and reintroduce the male into the females enclosure for another week. 


Kenyan Sand Boa Gestation:

Kenyan sand boas have live birth (Viviparous), much like most boa constrictors. It can be difficult to tell if your Kenyan sand boa is gravid (the word used for a pregnant snake) in the first couple months after breeding. As a rule, we track the first date the male was introduced with the female. To estimate the day the female will give birth we add four months to the day of introduction and write down this date as the 'earliest' we expect our female Kenyan sand boa to give birth. We then add five months to the date of introduction and write down this date as the 'latest' date we expect our Kenyan sand boa female to give birth. That month date range from earliest to latest is a fairly accurate estimation of your female Kenyan sand boas gestation period. 


Is My Kenyan Sand Boa Gravid?

In the first couple months it is nearly impossible to answer the question of 'Is my Kenyan sand boa gravid?' However, there usually is some behavioral clues. First, the female will usually begin laying on the hotspot of the enclosure almost constantly. For the first two months her appetite will increase and she will eat much more readily and larger quantities of mice/rats than in the past. Around the two month mark from the time you introduced the male, if you female Kenyan sand boa is gravid, you will start to see a bulge in her bottom third of her body. You also should start to see scale separation as she expands to accommodate the growing Kenyan sand boa babies in her belly. When you start to see a noticeable bulge we recommend that you feed a smaller sized mouse or rat so as to not injure the babies insider her. We frequently feed our gravid Kenyan sand boa females multiple fuzzy mice or rat pinks during the last two months of their gravidness. 


Kenyan Sand Boa Giving Birth

kenyan sand boa giving birth


Kenyan sand boas give live birth. Litter sizes range from 9-12 the first season a breeder female Kenyan sand boa gives live birth to 25-32 from a more established breeder Kenyan sand boa female. Typically, the gravid Kenyan sand boa female will give birth to a large healthy litter of baby Kenyan sand boas at night. They are small babies and there is rarely any complications. Sometimes an infertile egg will also be birthed, these are referred to as slugs in the reptile industry and will appear like a hardened small egg, see picture below.

Kenyan sand boa breeding slug