How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

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Robby
Posts: 3
Joined: June 26th, 2018, 8:17 am
Location: Reno, NV

How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Robby » September 9th, 2019, 10:03 am

Hey all! I'm Robby, I'm 21 and have been a lurker on this forum for a few years now. I finally have something that I think is worth my first post! Ever since I was young I'd been fascinated with reptiles; growing up watching Steve Irwin my interest in them developed into a passion. When I was around 11 or 12 I started looking for snakes of my own, mostly just the garter snakes and great basin gophers that call my town of Sparks, NV home(north reno). I started to develop a knowledge of my area and the surrounding state's wildlife. My first encounter with the creature that is the topic of this forum post came from when I was 14, at the boyscout camp known as Camp Fleischmann. We had just come back from dinner as dusk started to set in and I spotted this little fella near the entrance to our camp.
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That was 7 years ago and as cool as that was to me that isn't why I made this post, buckle up!

After discovering how awesome rubber boas are, anytime I was up in the Tahoe area I'd be on the lookout, reading up on this forum and doing all the research I could to find more. I set out to the sf area with a friend determined to find one but came back having seen nothing more than this:
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My most recent trip into the Sierra Nevada's for the elusive boa
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was this August, and also came up (almost)empty:
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But this is one of those stories with a twist ending. A couple days back around 6:30pm my dad comes into my room and tells me there's a GIANT worm on the porch and I should come see. Now I live in Sparks, NV and it isn't known to be anything more than a desert out here. We have rattlesnakes and coyotes and bunnies and not much else. I go outside to see the worm and can't believe my eyes. An absolutely gorgeous boa:
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I still don't know why he was there, I have pictures of the habitat around my house:
Image my porch
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I know they like rocky outcroppings like this one in the ditch on the side of my house but I didn't think they even lived in this area!
Image picture from behind my backyard, ITS A DESERT!

I hope that there's an actual population of boas around here and that it's not an escaped pet(especially since they're illegal to own here). Anyway that's all I have for today! If anybody knows about the Reno area and has any insight feel free to pitch in!

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technoendo
Posts: 108
Joined: December 13th, 2014, 5:27 pm

Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by technoendo » September 9th, 2019, 1:31 pm

As Carl Kauffeld once said, "Snakes are where you find them." This isn't the wrong way to find a snake hehe, this is legit.

I would think it is a wild native animal as rubber boas aren't very common in the pet trade (they are blandly colored/patterned without many breeders), and its illegal to collect boas in most of their range without permits. They also can be found in a wide range of habitat -- up in cool/wet mountains and forests down into dry deserts. I know people who have lived in areas where I'll find rubber boas who have never seen one in years of living there. They are secretive fossorial snakes and if you see one animal likely there are more in the neighborhood.

Reno does appear to be in-range for boas at a quick glance at the crude range map on http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/p ... ottae.html

You are lucky to find one on the crawl like that! I only ever flip them or cruise for them in the late hours of the night (10pm - 3am). Good first post Robby, that was a nice story and a beautiful boa. Giant worm indeed hehe

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herpseeker1978
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:05 am
Location: Albuquerque

Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by herpseeker1978 » September 9th, 2019, 4:35 pm

Awesome find! I'd recommend embedding your photos, you will probably get more people to see them that way.

Josh

Robby
Posts: 3
Joined: June 26th, 2018, 8:17 am
Location: Reno, NV

Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Robby » September 9th, 2019, 5:23 pm

technoendo wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 1:31 pm
As Carl Kauffeld once said, "Snakes are where you find them." This isn't the wrong way to find a snake hehe, this is legit.

I would think it is a wild native animal as rubber boas aren't very common in the pet trade (they are blandly colored/patterned without many breeders), and its illegal to collect boas in most of their range without permits. They also can be found in a wide range of habitat -- up in cool/wet mountains and forests down into dry deserts. I know people who have lived in areas where I'll find rubber boas who have never seen one in years of living there. They are secretive fossorial snakes and if you see one animal likely there are more in the neighborhood.

Reno does appear to be in-range for boas at a quick glance at the crude range map on http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/p ... ottae.html

You are lucky to find one on the crawl like that! I only ever flip them or cruise for them in the late hours of the night (10pm - 3am). Good first post Robby, that was a nice story and a beautiful boa. Giant worm indeed hehe
Yeah I'm really inspired to go looking for them out here now that I know! I think I'll start with that rocky area. I've never seen a DOR rubber boa in the area or seen one night cruising so I had no idea!

Robby
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Joined: June 26th, 2018, 8:17 am
Location: Reno, NV

Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Robby » September 9th, 2019, 5:27 pm

herpseeker1978 wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 4:35 pm
Awesome find! I'd recommend embedding your photos, you will probably get more people to see them that way.

Josh
Just did it thanks for the advice!

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jonathan
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Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by jonathan » September 15th, 2019, 9:16 pm

Great post. I won't admit to leaving the boa there for you. ;)

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Fieldnotes
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Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Fieldnotes » September 21st, 2019, 11:48 am

Enjoyed the story, thanks for posting. Looking forwards to reading more of your adventures...

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RenoBart
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Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by RenoBart » October 10th, 2019, 11:28 am

This is a pretty awesome find for Sparks. I have never heard of any boas that far east but i know they range all over east all the way to Utah...

Jefferson
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Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Jefferson » October 12th, 2019, 12:27 pm

That's a great story!! This is a classic case of a snake who forgot to read his field guide, as my wife Bethany says.

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Rich in Reptiles
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Joined: November 30th, 2012, 7:45 am
Location: Missouri

Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by Rich in Reptiles » October 17th, 2019, 7:15 am

Wow that is incredible!! What a great story and thanks for sharing.
-Bethany

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: How I found a rubber boa (the wrong way)

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 10th, 2019, 4:19 am

Sending you a PM.

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