Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021



Pacific Ground Boa

Family : BOIDAE
Species : Candoia carinata paulsoni
Maximum Size : 1.0 metres

The Pacific Ground Boa Candoia carinata paulsoni is the thicker-bodied cousin of the more slender Pacific Tree Boa C. c. carinata. It occurs in a range of habitats including forests and disturbed agricultural areas including plantations.

The background colour can be a variety of browns or creams, and the dorsal patterning typically comprises diamond patterns along the dorsal line, which may be connected to form a reticulated zig-zag pattern. The diamond patterns help to distinguish this snake from the similar New Guinea Ground Boa Candoia aspera.

The body is stout, the tail short and the head of 'typical' boa or python shape. The eyes are small, and the head scales granular.

The Pacific Ground Boa typically feeds on frogs, small mammals such as rats, and various lizards.

This subspecies is widespread throughout Papua New Guinea, including its offshore islands (the photos shown here were taken on Lihir Island), and in the Solomon Islands to the east. It is also reported to occur in the Indonesian province of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), as well as the islands of Sulawesi and Halmahera to the west.

Fig 1 : Juvenile specimen from Lihir Island, PNG. Photo thanks to Jan & Roy Johnstone

References : H6


Fig 1
ゥ  Jan & Roy Johnstone