Sahara sandboa eggs...

Dear VPI,

At a recent snake show, I purchased a Saharan sandboa, Eryx mueller.  I was told that this snake was probably gravid and would be laying eggs soon. Do you have any information about the needs of these species as far as egg laying and incubation? I would be most grateful for any help at all. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day,   Vii


Dear Vii,

We've never seen the eggs, so I'm not able to tell you anything based on experience.

There is a general rule of thumb that the eggs with shells that appear to be thin and delicate, even translucent in some species, need to be incubated in drier conditions than the conditions for eggs with heavier and thicker shells, such as the eggs of, for example, blood pythons or any of the giant pythons.

I expect that the shells on the eggs of these sandboas are thin, and if that is the case we would use a vermiculite-and-water mixture that is drier than what we use for eggs of those snakes, and ball pythons or carpet pythons--similar to what we use for green tree python eggs. I would incubate them at 88-89 degrees.

The trick to knowing if the eggs are set up in a good vermiculite mixture that is creating the correct levels of humidity is to weigh the eggs. First weigh the eggs when you first find them and are setting them up. Weigh them again in five-to-seven days. If they are set up correctly, they will have not changed weight. If they have gained weight, make the vermiculite a little drier; if they lose weight, then add a little water to the system. Good luck with those eggs,  DGB