Eryx jayakari

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Eryx jayakari
Eryx jayakari by Omid Mozaffari.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Eryx
Species: E. jayakari
Binomial name
Eryx jayakari
Boulenger, 1888[2]

Eryx jayakari, known commonly as the Arabian sand boa or Jayakar's sand boa, is a species of snake in the Boidae family.[3] It is endemic to the Arabian Peninsula and Iran where it spends the day buried in the sand.


Both the specific name, jayakari, and one of the common names, Jayakar's sand boa, are in honor of Atmaran S. G. Jayakar (1844–1911), an Indian surgeon and naturalist.[4]


The Arabian sand boa is a small snake growing to a total length (including tail) of about 38 cm (15 in). The eyes are very small and are located on the top of the head, which has a blunt snout and is wedge-shaped. This snake's colour is yellowish-grey or sandy-brown speckled with white flecks and transversely banded with dark marks.[5]

Geographic range[edit]

The Arabian sand boa is native to the Arabian peninsula. Its geographic range includes Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, and southern Iran, where a small number of specimens have been found in Khuzestan Province, Bushahr Province and Kerman Province.[1]


Eryx jayakari is a desert species of snake, living semi-underground in sand or soft soil.[1]


The Arabian sand boa is largely nocturnal and is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. During the day it buries itself deep in the sand but moves towards the surface at dusk. Here it remains slightly below the surface with just its eyes projecting, ready to pounce with a sideways flick of its head, on any small creature that happens to pass.[5]


The diet of E. jayakari includes short-fingered geckos (Stenodactylus spp.), the Baluch rock gecko (Bunopus tuberculatus), and worm lizards.[6]


The female lays a small clutch of eggs which hatch in about 66 days at a temperature of 33 °C (91 °F).[6]

Conservation status[edit]

The Arabian sand boa is listed by the IUCN as being of "Least Concern". This is because it has a very wide range, is common in at least parts of that range, and no particular threats have been identified.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Behbehani, S.J.Y.; Al Johany, A.M.H.; Sharifi, M.; Papenfuss, T.; Anderson, S.; Shafiei Bafti, S. (2012). "Eryx jayakari". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Eryx jayakari Boulenger, 1888". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  3. ^ McDiarmid, Roy W., Jonathan A. Campbell, and T'Shaka A. Touré, 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, Diatrict of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series), ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Eryx jayakari, p. 134).
  5. ^ a b Stafford, Peter J. (1986). Pythons and Boas. TFH Publications. pp. 106, 110. ISBN 9780866220842. 
  6. ^ a b Masood, Mustafa Fathy (2012). "Ecological distribution of snakes' fauna of Jazan region of Saudi Arabia". Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences. 4 (1): 183–197. ISSN 2090-0759. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger, George Albert. 1888. Description of a New Snake from Muscat, Arabia. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Series 6, 2 (12): 508-509. (Eryx jayakari, new species).
  • Boulenger, G.A. 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. (Eryx jayakari, p. 129 + Plate V, Figure 3).