The Tartar Sand Boa (Eryx tataricus) is a reptile in the Boidae family of boa snakes.
The Tartar Sand Boa is a wide-bodied snake with no distinct neck. It is buff-coloured with dark-grey to black markings on the top of its body along its length, which merge into specks on its sides. It has a black streak through its eyes.
It measures 60-90 centimetres (24-35 inches) in length.
It is native to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia, and western China. It is mainly found at the east shore of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan, and in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
It prefers dry, sandy habitats. It can burrow into the soil.
The Tartar Sand Boa is viviparous, which means that the female gives birth to live young. The female has about 7-10 young.
[Location of photographs: Tashkent Zoo, Uzbekistan]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM