Boas of the World

Overview

Boas (Boidae) are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in America, Africa, Europe, Asia and some Pacific Islands. 43 species of Boas, are currently recognized, in two subfamilies, (eight genera). Boas (and python) families share a number of  characteristics.including a vestigial pelvic girdle with hind limbs that are partially visible as a pair of spurs, one on either side of the vent. In males, these anal spurs may be larger  than in females. Boas, however differ from the pythons by bone and dental differences in their skull. All species of pythons lay eggs and although most species of boas have live young, the following 3 species lay eggs:-

Charina reinhardtii – Calabar Boa (Note that although this species is often called a” Calabar Python”, it is actually a boa!).

Gongylophis muelleri –Saharan Sand Boa.

Eryx jayakari – Arabian Sand Boa NOTE THAT HATCHLINGS DO NOT HAVE AN EGG TOOTH.

Boa Distribution

Boas are found in Northern, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, Northern, Central and East Africa, Madagascar and Reunion Island, the Arabian Peninsula, Central and southwestern Asia, India and Sri Lanka, the Moluccas and New Guinea through to Melanesia and Samoa. This is a much wider distribution than most people think!

The Round Island Burrowing Boa (Bolyeria multocarinata] is an extinct species which was endemic to Mauritius. The species was last sighted on Round Island in 1975.

Feeding

Boas kill their food by constriction, basically the prey item is unable to breath, due to the tightness of the snakes coils.