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Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de 
Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles

Charina bottae
Rubber Boa / Boa Caoutchouc


Rubber Boa

Description
As its name suggests, the Rubber Boa looks rubbery. It is a uniform olive-green, reddish-brown, or brown. The Rubber Boa has a blunt tail, making it vaguely look like it has a head at each end. The eyes have vertical pupils. The Rubber Boa can grow to over 80 cm in total length.

Confusing Species
There are two other unpatterned snakes in British Columbia: the Western Yellow-bellied Racer and the Sharptail Snake. In BC, the Racer is greenish to brown, but the belly is always yellow. It also has a long thin tail. The Sharptail Snake is reddish brown to gray and has a series of black and white crossbars on the belly.

Distribution
The Rubber Boa is found across much of southern BC along the US border and farther north in the centre of the province. To the south the snake ranges across the northwestern US, as far south as northern California.

Habitat
The Rubber Boa is found in a variety of habitats from damp woodlands to coniferous forests. It is also found in moist sandy areas along rocky streams. It prefers loose soil, because it will burrow into the ground.

Reproduction
Little is know of the mating habits of the Rubber Boa. Females give birth to 2-8 young in late summer. The juveniles are almost 18 cm long at birth.

Natural History
The Rubber Boa is active at dusk and at night. It is a constrictor, preying on small mammals and birds. With its prehensile tail it can climb shrubs and small trees. Much of its time is spent under ground, either burrowing or using the burrows of other animals. If threatened the Rubber Boa will often roll up into a ball, hiding its head and raising its tail, which can appear like a head.

Conservation Concerns
The Rubber Boa is relatively widespread in British Columbia, but it is not common. It is unclear if populations are declining as a result of development activities. It has been designated Special Concern by COSEWIC