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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024



New Guinea Ground Boa

Family : BOIDAE
Species : Candoia aspera
Maximum Size : 1.0 metres

The New Guinea Ground Boa is a short, thick-bodied, ground-dwelling snake sometimes called by locals 'the lazy snake' on account of its lethargic temperament. It reaches a maximum length of just 1 metre.

The colouration comprises a brown or yellow-brown body with variable dark brown or reddish brown areas on the dorsum, the edges of which are dark brown to black : the overall effect is an irregular, reticulated pattern.

The head is elongate, the snout somewhat pointed and the eyes small. The tail is short and thick. As with other members of the python family, the head scales are small and granular. The body scales are strongly keeled.

The species inhabits the leaf litter of forests and plantations. It is largely nocturnal in habits, and remains motionless during the day. Its diet comprises other vertebrates - particularly lizards, frogs and small mammals.

The photos presented here were taken on Manus Island, Manus Province, PNG. In other provinces more slender examples may be encountered.

The species is widely distributed in PNG, including offshore islands, and its range extends to Indonesian Papua and its offshore islands.

Fig 1 : Medium brown / yellow brown specimen from Manus Island.

Fig 1 : Dark brown / light brown specimen from Manus Island.

All photos thanks to Bill Spurrell

References : H6




Fig 1
ゥ  Bill Spurrell
Fig 2
ゥ  Bill Spurrell