Rosy Boa Natural History

Rosy Boas (Lichanura trivirgata) are small ground boas that inhabit the Mojave, Colorado, and Sonora Deserts of southern California, western Arizona, Baja California, and mainland Mexico. They also inhabit the coastal scrub areas of southern California and northwest Baja California. Rosy Boas exist within a variable temperature range, manipulated by natural land barriers. Provided is a range map that illustrates their verified geographical range. Historically their taxonomy has been an argument for many herpetologists as well as hobbyists, making educating the masses somewhat of a challenge. Illustrated on the range map, as well as throughout this website, is what is most commonly recognized and used for referencing sub species. It’s my opinion that only DNA analysis will determine and recognize different sub species, or if they are in fact different (other than color and pattern) at all. It is also my opinion that their geographical differences create recognizable differences in terms of their “in the wild” behaviors (i.e. breeding, feeding, activity, longevity, and population density). Again, my opinions are based on my personal observations and feedback from fellow long term Rosy Boa enthusiasts.


Rosy Boas are diurnal during winter months in the areas consisting of moderate temperatures (i.e. from San Diego County south throughout the Baja peninsula, as well as the lower elevation localities of Arizona). Rosy Boas are crepuscular through spring time. As summer brings on higher temperatures, Rosys become nocturnal, commonly seen crossing roads from sun set on. It has been an ongoing argument with hobbyist as to whether Rosy Boas hibernate or not. In the wild, Rosy activity begins to increase in February (referenced from field observations by very reputable sources) as they try to build fat reserves for the coming breeding season. They can be observed under rocks being warmed by the sun, crawling at the base of rock outcroppings, semi-exposed in rock fissures, and even crawling out in the open. As the season progresses and the temperatures increase, Rosys are observed more in the early morning and then later in the early evening. Once the day time temps reach the 90’s, Rosys are usually only observed at night when the temperature has dropped. This is directly manipulated by their geographic origin.

Mating occurs anytime from April through June in the wild. Again, this variable is related to their geographic origin. Year after year, their frequency of breeding in the wild is only a guess. There is no hard data to support what promotes a successful breeding season. Most rosy enthusiasts agree their geographic origin, available food supply, and seasonal conditions directly affect their frequency and success. In general, it is thought that most females breed every two years. Gestation is usually 130 days for full term. Rosys give live birth of up to 8 neonates from late August to late October.

Rosy Boas primarily feed on rodents. In the wild they will also prey upon birds, bats, and lizards. Rosy Boas are very opportunistic feeders in the wild. They are very patient, and can lay in wait for very long periods of time to ambush their prey, and will occasionally stalk their prey if necessary.

Mature wild adult male Rosys reach approximately 36" and females reach 40" or more. Commonly, the larger animals are found with heavy scaring and even stub tails. Coastal localities are among the largest, but the high elevation Arizona localities are as equal. Males are identified by the presence of spurs (rudimentary legs) on each side of their vent. Rosy Boas can live up to 40 + years in captivity if properly taken care of.






California Kingsnake Natural History

The California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) is a non-venomous snake found in the western United States and northern Mexico. The California Kingsnake can vary widely in appearance due to numerous naturally occurring color and pattern morphs. The California Kingsnake is found in most of California and Arizona, not excluding the highest mountain ranges, as well as southern portions of Nevada, Utah, Oregon, northwestern New Mexico, and extreme southwestern Colorado. In Arizona, they Intergrade with the Desert Kingsnake and the Mexican Black Kingsnake.


California Kingsnake range indicated in pink

There are dozens of combinations of patterns and colorations that naturally occur in the wild. These generally fall under the basic categories of banded, striped, blotched, unicolored, and speckled with additional aberrant variations in color and pattern depending on the particular geographic population. The Californian Kingsnake is generally diurnal, however they become more nocturnal during the summer months. In the winter, they may go deep underground and enter hibernation. California Kingsnakes are constrictors, feeding on almost any vertebrate they can overpower. Common food items include rodents, and other reptiles. The "king" in their name refers to their ability to hunt and consume other snakes, including Rattlesnakes. The California Kingsnake is an egg layer as opposed to giving live birth, such as Rosy Boas. Mating is throughout the spring. Eggs are laid between May and August which is generally 40–60 days after copulation. The typical clutch size is five to twelve eggs with an average of nine. The hatchlings usually emerge another 40–65 days later, and are approximately ten to twelve inches in length.







Gopher Snake and Bull Snake Natural History

Gopher Snakes and Bull Snakes are non-venomous constrictors of the Pituophis genus found in the United States, Mexico, and southwestern Canada. These animals can vary widely in appearance due to numerous naturally occurring color and pattern morphs throughout their range. Habitats include coastal, grasslands, prairie, scrub, and desert, making them one of the most successful snakes throughout their range. Ranging up to 8+ feet in length makes them the largest North American snake species.




There are dozens of combinations of patterns and colorations that naturally occur in the wild. These generally fall under the basic categories of blotched, stripped, and patternless, with additional variations in color and pattern depending on the particular geographic population. Typically brown, tan, and black make up most of their color scheme, but some localities have spectrums of yellow, orange, red, and even pink included. Gopher Snakes and Bull Snakes are generally diurnal, however they become more nocturnal during the summer months. In the winter, they may go deep underground and enter hibernation. Gopher Snakes and Bull Snakes are constrictors, feeding aggressively during their activity period. Common food items include rodents, birds, and even eggs. Gopher Snakes and Bull Snakes are egg layers as opposed to giving live birth, such as Rosy Boas. Mating is throughout the spring, depending on their geographic origin. Eggs are laid between May and August which is generally 40–60 days after copulation. The typical clutch size is five to twelve eggs with an average of nine. The hatchlings usually emerge another 65-75 days later, and can range from 12 inches to 16 inches in length.