Distribution: Madagascar, Nossi Be = Nosy Bé madagascariensis: E Madagascar volontany: W Madagascar
Type locality: Madagascar
Catalog Number: USNM 10982
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Locality: No Further Locality Data, Madagascar, Africa
- Syntype: Duméril, A. & Bibron, G. . Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. 6: 549.
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Sanzinia madagascariensis volontany
There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen. Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sanzinia madagascariensis volontany
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Insufficiently Known(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Insufficiently Known(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
- 1986Insufficiently Known(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
This species is on Appendix I of CITES and all international trade in live animals, or body parts, is prohibited. Due to its wide distribution, this species occurs in many protected areas in Madagascar. The taxonomic status of S. m. volontany needs to be clarified, as this may represent a full species, and it may be necessary to identify whether this snake is subject to any presently unknown threats.
Boa manditra (also known as the Malagasy tree boa, or Madagascar tree boa) is a non-venomous boa species endemic to the island of Madagascar. The specific epithet is also the Malagasy common name for this snake. No subspecies are currently recognized.
Adults average 4–5 feet (122–152 cm) in length, although 6–7 foot (183–213 cm) specimens are not uncommon. Thermoreceptive pits are located between the labial scales. Females are larger than males.
There are two color variations that are considered by some to represent two distinct subspecies. One is green to grayish-green and is found mainly in the eastern half of the range, while the other is yellow, orange and brown and occurs in some parts of the western side of the range. The green variant also tends to be about two thirds of the size of the yellow-brown variant.
Favors trees and shrubs near streams, rivers, ponds and swamps.
This species was classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with the following criteria: A1cd (v2.3, 1994). This means that a population reduction of at least 20% has been observed, estimated, inferred or suspected over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat, and based on actual or potential levels of exploitation. Year assessed: 2006. It is now listed as Least Concern (LC) as it is widespread, present in heavily degraded habitats and it is not subject to any known or suspected threats.
Also listed as CITES Appendix I, which means that it is threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for example for scientific research.
When females become gravid, their skin color darkens. This adaptation provides increased heat absorption for the developing young. After giving birth, the color returns normal as soon as it next sheds its skin. Neonates are a bright red that may warn predators to "stay away", while simultaneously providing camouflage among brightly colored treetop flowers.
When Kluge (1991) moved Sanzinia madagascariensis (Duméril & Bibron, 1844) to Boa together with Acrantophis madagascariensis (Duméril & Bibron, 1844), this resulted in homonymy. To fix this nomenclatural problem, he proposed the specific name manditra as a replacement for S. madagascariensis.
However, it was later found that the Malagasy boids and Boa constrictor do not form a monophyletic group, so that the lumping of Sanzinia, Acrantophis and Boa were probably in error, and most recent authors have reverted to the use of Sanzinia madagascariensis as the name for this species. At the present time of 2012 it is now once again vulnerable
Some sources consider the two color variants to represent two distinct subspecies:
- B. m. manditra - Kluge, 1991
- B. m. volontany - Vences and Glaw, 2004.
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
- Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
- "Boa manditra". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- Sanzinia madagascariensis at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 10 July 2008.
- 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 10 July 2008.
- Sanzinia madagascariensis at CITES and United Nations Environment Programme / World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 10 July 2008.
- Vences, M., Glaw, F., Kosuch, J., Boehme, W., Veith, M. (2001) Phylogeny of South American and Malagasy boine snakes: Molecular evidence for the validity of Sanzinia and Acrantophis and biogeographic implications. Copeia 2001, 1151-1154
- Noonan, B.O., Chippindale, P.T. (2006) Dispersal and vicariance: the complex history of boid snakes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 40, 347-358.
- Kluge AG. 1991. Boine Snake Phylogeny and Research Cycles. Misc. Pub. Museum of Zoology, Univ. of Michigan No. 178. 58 pp. PDF at University of Michigan Library. Accessed 11 July 2008.
- Vences M, Glaw F, Kosuch J, Böhme W, Veith M. 2001. Phylogeny of South American and Malagasy Boine Snakes: Molecular Evidence for the Validity of Sanzinia and Acrantophis and Biogeographic Implications. Copeia No 4. p. 1151-1154. PDF at Miguel Vences. Accessed 29 August 2008.
- Vences M, Glaw F. 2003. Phylogeography, systematics and conservation status of boid snakes from Madagascar (Sanzinia and Acrantophis). Salamandra, Reinbach, 39(3/4): p. 181-206. PDF at Miguel Vences. Accessed 29 August 2008.