Do Kenyan Sand Boas Need a Heat Lamp?

Do kenyan sand boas need a heat lamp

Kenyan sand boas are desert-dwelling snakes and require a temperature gradient within their enclosure to thermoregulate effectively. They should have a basking surface temperature of 95 degrees and a cool side temp of 72-80 degrees, using a temperature-controlled heat mat to help maintain this range.

As nocturnal burrowing animals, these snakes need to have access to UVB light. This helps regulate their day/night cycle and associated hormonal rhythms, as well as provide them with all the vitamin D3 they need to support their overall physiological processes. They can also benefit from a few fluorescent lights placed in the tank to give them some additional lighting during the daytime as well.

If a snake doesn’t get enough UVB it can develop a number of health problems, including eye issues and skin infections. Keeping a UVB bulb in the tank will ensure that your sand boa gets the proper amount of UVB each day to keep them healthy and happy!

A good halogen flood heat bulb will provide adequate heating for your sand boa to maintain an appropriate basking temperature, which should be maintained between 80 and 90 degrees on the warm side and 72-80 degrees on the cool side. A ceramic heat emitter or a heat lamp can be added to the top of the enclosure if the air temperature in the tank is too cold for your sand boa to maintain a reasonable basking temperature.

They should also be provided with a water bowl where they can soak their body in and drink from, but this should not be too deep as they are dry-skin dwellers and can stop eating from being in the water for too long! Be sure to replace the substrate on a regular basis and disinfect and clean your sand boa’s enclosure, furniture, and other accessories.

These snakes are fairly easy to handle but hatchling and juvenile sand boas can be nervous and defensive, so it’s best to handle them with caution. Using rudimentary positive reinforcement and taking it slow can help your sand boa learn to become more relaxed and comfortable with human interaction.

Handling your sand boa shouldn’t be done more than once a day, as this can cause stress and injury to your snake. Initially, Kenyan sand boas may be hesitant and may try to bite when startled, but they will become more tolerant over time.

Providing a hiding place for your sand boa is also important. Slabs of cork bark or half-logs are a suitable option, as are small plastic cacti or other decorations that mimic the desert surroundings in which they are from.

Sand boas are relatively low maintenance in captivity but do need to be fed on a regular basis, particularly as hatchlings and young adult snakes. They are capable of consuming pre-killed and frozen-thawed mouse, but they are more likely to be successful with live prey that they have been trained to ambush.