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Kenyan sand boa - reproduction

Kenyan sand boas are ovivaparous. They don't lay eggs like most pythons and other snakes, but like most boas they give birth to live baby snakes.

Kenyan sand boas reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age, but males can father a litter as early as six or so months (given they are big enough at the time). The male has two sexual organs called hemipenes. Their mating season is March through May.

Below a pair of normal Kenyan sand boas mating.

 Kenyan sand boa

During mating, the sand boas usualy stay under the substrate with their tails above the level, like in the photograph above.

Once a successful mating took place, the females will go through ovulation. It will show as bloating of the snakes body in the mid section, will last a day and then disappear. It is a sign that the female is pregnant.

 Kenyan sand boa ovulating

Kenyan sand boas give live birth - they don't lay eggs. Below is a photo of an albino Kenyan sand boa giving birth.

 Kenyan sand boa birth

Gestation takes about 6 to 8 months, after which the babies are born. They don't lay eggs and give live birth.

Kenyan sand boas can have as little as few babies in a litter, but most of the time they will have more. The usual litter size will be between 15 and 20 babies. This year, 2007, one of my females had 21 babies. They will shed in about a week after being born.

Kenyan sand boas start eating soon after the first shed. Many start right away on frozen thawed pinkie mice, and all the others will go for live pinkies. They are ambush preditors, and will strike the mouse when you just place it on the surface of the substrate.

Further reading
Snake Egg Candling
How to check if your snake eggs are fertile

Snake books

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Available pet snakes   
 Kenyan sand boas

2006 babies, very large, well started and all eating ! Only 8 left !

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