Acrantophis dumerili

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Acrantophis dumerili
Boa dumerili.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Acrantophis
Species: A. dumerili
Binomial name
Acrantophis dumerili
Jan In Jan & Sordelli, 1860
  • Acrantophis dumerili
    Jan In Jan & Sordelli, 1860
  • Acrantophis dumerilii
    — Jan, 1863
  • Boa dumerilii Boulenger, 1893
  • Acrantophis madagascariensis dumerili
    Stull, 1935
  • Acrantophis dumerili
    Guibé, 1949
  • Boa dumerili Kluge, 1991[2]

Acrantophis dumerili, commonly known as Dumeril's boa and the Madagascar ground boa,[3] is a non-venomous boa species found on Madagascar. No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


The specific name, dumerili, is in honor of French herpetologist André Marie Constant Duméril.[5]


Acrantophis dumerili.
Acrantophis dumerili in the London Zoo.

Adults usually grow to 6.5 feet (2 m) in total length (including tail)[6] with the maximum reported to be 8 foot, 6 inches (259 cm). Males usually have longer skinnier tails, while females tend to be larger overall.

The color pattern consists of a gray-brown ground color with darker patches, forming an effective camouflage against the leaf litter of the forest floor of their native habitat.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Found on Madagascar. The type locality given is "Amérique mérid. ?" Given as "?" by Jan (1863).[2]

Along the western coast and southwestern regions of Madagascar, it is found in a semi-arid habitat that gets fairly low amounts of precipitation.

Conservation status[edit]

This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List for the following criteria: A1cd (v2.3, 1994).[3] This means that a population reduction of at least 20% has been observed, estimated, inferred or suspected over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat, and based on actual or potential levels of exploitation.[7] The species was last assessed in 2011.[3]

A. dumerili is also listed as CITES Appendix I, which means that it is threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for example for scientific research.[8]

It is threatened by deforestation and human persecution. In some areas it is feared and often killed on sight. Although some native lore would relate stories of the souls of the tribes ancestors being in the snake skins, because patterns of faces on the sides of the snakes are interpreted, making them religiously sacred and therefore not dangerous to some cultures.


Their diet consists of small animals, such as birds, lizards, and small mammals. They are also known to prey on other snakes.


Sexual maturity is within 3 to 5 years of age. Males have anal spurs, which are used in courtship. Their mating season is March through May and the young are born some 6 to 8 months later. Ovoviviparous, females give birth to a litters of 6-28. Neonates are 12-18 inches (30–46 cm) long.


Once exported from Madagascar in great numbers, trade in this species has since been heavily restricted. They are, however, quite prolific in captivity, and captive bred animals are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in the exotic pet trade. Though their size makes them more suited to someone experienced with large constrictors, they have a typically docile nature, and readily feed on rats. The main concern is that they are prone to stress, which can sometimes cause them to stop eating or contribute to other health issues.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Raxworthy, C.J.; Ramanamanjato, J.-B. (2011). "Acrantophis dumerili". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ a b c Raxworthy, C.J., Ramanamanjato, J.-B. & Randriamahazo, H. 2011. Acrantophis dumerili. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Acrantophis dumerili". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Acrantophis dumerili, p. 77).
  6. ^ Burnie D, Wilson DE. 2001. Animal. London: Dorling Kindersley. 624 pp. ISBN 0-7894-7764-5.
  7. ^ 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 10 July 2008.
  8. ^ Acrantophis dumerili at CITES and United Nations Environment Programme / World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 10 July 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Boidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Boa dumerilii, p. 120).
  • Jan G, [ Sordelli F ]. "1861" [ 1860 ]. Iconographie générale des Ophidiens, Première livraison. Paris: Baillière. Index + Plates I-VI. (Acrantophis dumerili, new species, Plate II). (in French).
  • Kluge AG. 1991. Boine Snake Phylogeny and Research Cycles. Misc. Pub. Museum of Zoology, Univ. of Michigan (178): 1-58. PDF at University of Michigan Library. Accessed 11 July 2008.
  • Vences M, Glaw F, Kosuch J, Böhme W, Veith M. 2001. Phylogeny of South American and Malagasy Boine Snakes: Molecular Evidence for the Validity of Sanzinia and Acrantophis and Biogeographic Implications. Copeia 2001 (4): 1151-1154. PDF at Miguel Vences. Accessed 29 August 2008.
  • Vences M, Glaw F. 2003. Phylogeography, systematics and conservation status of boid snakes from Madagascar (Sanzinia and Acrantophis). Salamandra, Reinbach 39 (3/4): 181-206. PDF at Miguel Vences. Accessed 29 August 2008.

External links[edit]