Bolyeria multocarinata (Boie)

Round Island Burrowing Boa (Bolyeria multocarinata)

The Round Island Burrowing Boa was described in 1827; it was endemic to Mauritius and was also found on some of the small offshore islets.

The species reached lengths of 1 to about 1.4 m; it was light brown colored and had darker spots dorsally; its snout was pointed, an adaption to its fossorial (burrowing) lifestyle.

The Round Island Burrowing Boa was eradicated from most of its former range by introduced predatory animals and survived only on Round Island, where it was last seen in 1974.

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There is a single account that is describing a snake from Mauritius, it was made by Joseph-François Charpentier de Cossigny in 1764 and was translated by Anthony Cheke in 1987.:

I should say also that there are snakes, quite long and big, marked with brown and green, on the islets marked on my map. I have seen several shot on the Gunner’s Quoin. There were also some on the islet by the Grand Port pass. The workman working at the battery killed several.” [1][2]

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Depiction from: ‘Allard Pierson: Iconographia Zoologica: een papieren dierenrijk, Universiteit van Amsterdam 1788-1863’

(public domain)

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References:

[1] A. S. Cheke; Anthony William Diamond: An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987
[2] Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume: Lost Land of the Dodo: The ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues. Yale University Press 2008

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edited: 01.03.2024