[Naturalist Notebook] Introducing Isis, the Rosy Boa

Without further ado…

I’m in love with the blue/gray and orange stripes she’s sporting. Maybe I can find a matching outfit and be *that* person.

The Rosy Boa and the Red Dog. He’s mystified and intrigued by the snakes, and maybe a tad jealous.

The Rosy’s new name is Isis (she told it to me) and she’s so incredibly mellow. She doesn’t seem to mind being handled at all, and while she’s an active snake, she doesn’t seem to be trying to escape. She’s got a nice 20 gallon tank full of aspen shreds since she, like the Rubbers, enjoys digging around. Rosies are desert snakes, found in only small portions of the southernmost part of California and the Southwest, and otherwise are found mostly in Mexico. They’ve been actively bred for the pet trade since they have a wide range of beautiful colors (in combination with those three sweet racing stripes), don’t get much larger than 2-3 feet, and have a mellow temperament.

Do you see how her eyes look a little funny in the top pics? It turns out she has a problem shedding her eye scale when she sheds, but it dries out and dents so it ends up looking funny. I just take a Q-tip dabbed in warm water and gently press it to the scale until it loosens. Usually the scale comes right off onto the Q-tip.

The Rubber Boas seem to be doing just fine – the small female overcame a respiratory infection and literally grew overnight after digesting a pinkie.

Male on the left, female on the right. I should name the male Googly Eyes.

Still so tiny!


Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 7.52.00 PM

The baby Rubbers have sweet digs: a 15 gallon tank complete with great digging substrate and some aquarium decorations. In this tank, the two of them will have more than enough room to grow.

Yes, that’s a fake alligator skull.

The family expands!

Thanks for reading. :)


Posted on March 16, 2011, in Pets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. gorgeous pics – what beautiful specimens! just spotted you have the digging substrate in the whole cage…is that the dried peat that you soak? I have it in a small container for my brown house snake to escape to…but would prefer it as a bedding for the whole cage. can you recommend that? at the moment I have the special reptile sand,….which is fine, but needing to clean cage soon…it is my son’s snake, but I am as in love as you are with these awesome creatures. He is about to shed today or tomorrow!!!

  2. Hi Karoline! Thanks for the question. Their substrate right now is coco bark and to be honest, I don’t really like it; the particles are too small for them and sometimes they have pieces stuck in their mouths. (Remember though, the boas are really tiny right now – not sure how big your house snake is.) There’s a layer of peat moss on top which I soak to keep humidity up, but it dries almost instantly under their heat lamp.

    Bryan over at fieldherper.com, recommended ReptiBark to me and I really like that. The Rubber at the nature center can’t bury in it the way she could the other stuff, but it’s cleaner, looks nicer, and I don’t worry about her ingesting it as much. To compensate for not being able to dig as much, I added a bunch of rocks and hunks of bark to her tank so she has plenty to explore.

    If the house snake needs more humidity, Bryan also suggested keeping a wet sponge in a small container in the tank (which I bet dries more slowly than peat moss). Also, keep wet things like the water dish away from tank heaters. You can also give it a spritz with water from a water bottle. According to the packaging, ReptiBark retains humidity well.

    Aspen shavings seem to be fine for our gopher snake who burrows as well. Just make sure you do NOT get pine, cedar, or any other kind of shavings. Pine BARK is okay and so is aspen, but don’t buy any shavings that aren’t explicitly described on the bag!

    Good for you for keeping up with cleaning; I’ve seen many a poor reptile living in squalor because a too-young-keeper doesn’t understand the responsibility of keeping a happy herp. Yay for herps! :) Thanks for reading and writing Karoline!

  3. She looks like a “Lucy” to me.

    Have fun with the snake and staying single!

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