Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae (Boas; non-venomous, constricting snakes)

Genus/species: Sanzinia madagascariensis


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Occurs in 2 color variations; those in the eastern part of the range are green to grayish-green, while in some parts of the western range they are yellow, orange, and brown. The green variety is somewhat smaller than the western form. Max length: about 2 m or 6 ft. Females are larger than males.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Live in a variety of forest habitats, ranging from lowland tropical forests, to humid upland forests, to dry forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal snake, feeding on small mammals (including bats!) and birds, seeking them out using the heat-sensitive pits around its mouth that enable it to hunt for warm-blooded prey in complete darkness. Prey are constricted by the powerful coils of the boa which tighten as the prey struggles, restricting the blood flow to the heart and ultimately causing circulatory failure. Not venomous.

REPRODUCTION: Like all boas, females give birth to live young.Reach maturity at 3 years old, giving usually gives birth to fewer than 12  living young, which are red-colored to deter predators.

CONSERVATION:  IUCN Red List; Least Concern (LC)   Appendix I of CITES. Habitat loss through deforestation for agriculture and human settlement has restricted these boas mostly to protected areas of Madagascar. 

LOCATION: Rainforest  Madagascar MA06


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