Status Least Concern
Gestation Approximately 7 months
Young Usually 6-13
Life span Up to 20 years in captivity
The Dumeril’s ground boa is a carnivore; they feed on other animals such as rodents, birds, amphibians and small lizards. Like other boas they will use constriction to kill their prey; this involves holding their victim tightly and squeezing them, preventing their prey from being able to breathe.
These animals are found in Madagascar and are particularly widespread across the south and south-west of the island.
They are found in habitats such as dry arid forests, woodlands and areas close to water sources. They have also been known to be found close to villages as they are able to feed on pest species such as rats.
The Dumeril’s ground boa will use fallen logs, piles of leaf litter and mammal burrows for shelter and to hibernate within during dry and cold months. The breeding season usually starts after hibernation.
After mating, the fertilised eggs develop within the female and the young hatch out of the eggs that are still inside the mother. This means that the female will give birth to live young, measuring around 45 to 60cm long! The young snakes are fully independent at this time and no parental care is given.
Dumeril’s ground boas are fully grown at around 3 to 5 years old and are typically able to breed from 3 years old.
The Dumeril’s ground boa is an important predator within its habitat, due their large size adults are rarely hunted by other animals. Young snakes may be targeted by birds of prey, small mammals and other reptiles.
Hunting is a big threat to these animals. They are known to be hunted for food, for their skin (to be used as leather), and they sometimes killed as they are seen as a bad omen. The pet trade is also becoming an increasing problem for this species. Surprisingly, due to its ability to adapt to changes in its environment, the Dumeril’s ground boa is currently able to withstand the loss of forested areas within its natural habitat. However, continued habitat destruction is always an ever present threat.
The international trade of the Dumeril’s ground boa is illegal. This species is also found within many protected nature reserves.
The Dumeril’s ground boa very rarely climbs trees; instead they will hunt for food on the forest floor.
Dumeril’s ground boas do not have venom, so must use constriction to suffocate their prey before eating them.
Amazing day at Marwell zoo, topped by feeding the giraffes. Husband and I fed 7 giraffes by hand. I got sneezed on by kwame, the large male - brilliant!! Loved little Ruby. Very hands on. Not rushed at all. Thank you Megan, for making this an amazing experience for us both…Cathryn, 4th February 2016