Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827   Kashmir rock agama is a species of lizard that belong to family agamidae which i...

Red Sand Boa | Eryx johnii, Russell (1801)

Eryx johnii, Red Sand Boa,

It is a non-venomous species of snakes commonly known as Red Sand Boa or Indian Sand Boa failing under family Boidae endemic to Iran, Pakistan and India. The name “johnii” is given in honor of a German naturalist “Christoph Samuel John (1747–1813)”. 
The adult specimens of Eryx johnii can grow upto 3 feet’s. The dorsal body of the species is cylindrical having small keeled scales which appears smooth. The body color of the species varies from brown to reddish-brown, reddish-black, and chocolate brown in adults. Where color in adults specimens is darker than in sub-adults. Juveniles are reddish coloured having blackish markings, which is prominent on the posterior side of the body. Where on the ventral side the specimens have much narrower like a typical burrowing snakes, the color also varies according to dorsal body color which may be white, dark brown, having orange or blackish patches present. Subcaudals scales sometimes may have a different color than the ventral ones. 

Eryx johnii (Source: Indiansnakes.org) 

Head of the species is depressed towards snout having smooth scales and is not broader than the neck. Eyes are small having vertical pupil. Tail in this species is small & thick having head like appearance for what it is also recognized as “Two Headed Snake”.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Boidae
Genus:
Eryx
Species:
johnii
Binomial name
Eryx johnii, Russell, 1801

Scalation in this species is as: Supra-labial are 10-12; scales in between eyes are 6-9, besides there are 10-12 small scales are also found surrounding eyes. Dorsal scales are between 53-67 rows which are keeled & small sized scales of smooth appearance. Whereas ventral scales are narrower & are ranged between 190-213, narrower than the body width; while anal are tripartite. Sub caudal are 20-34 and are undivided. 

It is a nocturnal species of snake which show activity at night & spends most of its time hiding as burrower under mounds, rocks, rat holes, loose sand, crevices, agricultural lands, gardens, and unused lands having sandy soil, deep cracks, rat holes and many more. It feeds on rodents and small lizards, besides rarely on small snakes. Red sand boa is ovoviviparous, where females giving birth to 12-14 juveniles at a time. 
The species is distributed within Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and India (Tamil Nadu, Jammu (J & K) Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh). 
Broad threats to the species include anthropogenic pressures such as road kills, killings due to agricultural and digging activities, superstitions beliefs as well, beside illegal trade is the other crucial threat for this species. 

Literature Cited:

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Eryx johnii at reptile-database.reptarium.cz retrieved on 16 July2019 
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Eryx_johnii at wikipedia.org retrieved on 16 July2019 
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PerSonaLife: Red Sand Boa | Eryx johnii, Russell (1801)
Red Sand Boa | Eryx johnii, Russell (1801)
Eryx johnii, Red Sand Boa,
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