Russian Sand Boa (Eryx miliaris) Caresheet

Russian Sand Boa (Eryx miliaris) Caresheet


Availability of Russian sand boas is currently limited in the U.S. However, they are occasionally available from a few select sand boa breeders. Hopefully, as hobbyists become more acquainted with these intriguing, easy-to-keep boas, they will pursue responsible breeding efforts that may increase the numbers of offspring available in future years.


Russian sand boas are highly active and among the most durable and hardy of all boas. They thrive for snake hobbyists when basic husbandry requirements are met. Mature individuals exhibit strong sexual dimorphism, as adult females range from 20-36” with weight ranges of 250-400g, with some older females pushing into the 600g range. Males, however, are typically 12-18” and weigh between 50-120g. Juveniles range from 6-9g at birth. 

Enclosure size

Glass enclosures with a secure lid or plastic tubs in rack systems work well for this species. Minimum enclosure sizes are listed in the table below.

Note: Juveniles thrive in approximate 3” x 12” enclosures. Significantly larger dimensions are not recommended until juvenile is about 20g. Sizes suggested for adults are minimums. Larger dimensions are recommended when possible, especially for larger than average (400g+) females. This species can also be kept in larger, naturalistic vivaria to better observe their active, curious nature.


  • Sani-chips or ReptiChip
  • Shredded aspen
  • Cypress mulch – dried and then rehydrated to moisture content that yields desired humidity
  • ReptiChip (Coconut)
  • Sand

Temperature and humidity

One side of the enclosure should have a temperature-controlled warm area of 90-95°F. The opposite end of the enclosure should be about 70-80°F. The warm area may remain on constantly or can be turned off at night. Humidity ranges of 30%-55% are suitable. If stuck shed becomes a problem increase humidity as needed. In general, this species is tolerant of wide temperature and humidity ranges. 

Feeding and water

Live or frozen/thawed mice or rats of appropriate size can be fed weekly or biweekly. Fresh water should always be available in a small dish.


Russian sand boas typically have calm demeanors. Juveniles are reluctant to bite but will readily musk if not handled gently. Adult females are generally calm and easily handled. Some adult males may musk if not handled with care.