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Whitewater Rosy Boas

Rocky through the cow skull

Rosy boa - Lichanura trivirgata   has been reclassified to Charina trivirgata

Rosy boas are small boa constrictors less than 4 feet in length and often less than 3 feet. Their range includes southern California and western Arizona and southward to Baja California and western Sonora in Mexico.

Subspecies of Rosy Boa:

Depending on who you talk to the Whitewater rosy is a Desert Rosy, a Coastal Rosy, or an intergrade between the two. This variety is native to the Whitewater Canyon area of California, near Palm Springs.

Other references: eNature.com, San Diego Natural History Museum, Wikipedia and Cold Blooded News.

Sunshine on a skull

Top, Sirocco weaves through the cow skull, with Sunshine mostly hidden in front.

Some photos by RL Clark 12/00. On the left, Sunshine on the cow skull. On the right, baby #2 from the third litter hiding in the cow skull.

These snakes are hardy and easy to keep. A single adult rosy boa can be kept in a 20 gallon aquarium, although bigger is usually better. Sunshine occasionally lives in a 20 gallon long aquarium, usually while gravid and until the babies are born. Sirocco will rub his nose raw when confined to the 20 gallon so he stays in the larger cage. For the last few years Sunshine has gotten some alone time in one of these enclosures.

Baby 3.2

Here's a look at my main rosy boa habitat, a homemade enclosure that measures two feet deep by four feet long by eighteen inches high.

Sunshine and Sirocco (Sunny & Rocky) were purchased from Matt Smith in late September, 1996. They are both captive bred and both were born earlier that month, at different times with different mothers. They have the same father.

I don't do anything special to get these guys to breed. I just put them together in this cage, with newspaper substrate, a water dish, a cow skull jungle gym and a variey of hide boxes. Every 7 - 14 days they are offered a frozen/thawed rat pup. The temperature of the room they live in will drop to 65 or 70 F on the coldest winter nights. On hot summer days it can get up to 85 F. Additional heating, about 10 degrees warmer than the room, is always available.

This table shows the birth date and the number of offspring for each of Sunshine's litters.

Date Litter size
October 27, 1998 3
November 1, 1999 5
October 11, 2000 6
October 17, 2001 5
October 16, 2003 6
November 5, 2004 7
October 27, 2005 7
September 24, 2007 7
September 27, 2008 6

Sirocco

Photo of Sirocco on the cow skull taken June 2005.

Sirocco died January 28, 2010 at age 13.

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