Discovery of a new population of boas on the Turks Bank, Turks and Caicos Islands




Boidae, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean, island


The Turks & Caicos Boa, Chilabothrus chrysogaster, is among the best-studied snakes in the Caribbean. With nearly 20 years of annual study, much is known about the species’ biology, but most of this information comes from a single population on Big Ambergris Cay, located on the Caicos Bank. Other populations are poorly known, and, indeed, a subspecies (C. chrysogaster relicquus) is almost entirely unknown. Turks & Caicos Boas have been recorded from 10 islands on the Caicos Bank, and historically only from Grand Turk on the Turks Bank. The Grand Turk population is now functionally extirpated. In 2008 I documented a new Turks Bank population on Gibbs Cay, a very small islet east of Grand Turk. Additional surveys of some of the Turks Cays did not reveal additional populations, although the island of East Cay remained unserved. In March 2022 I conducted nocturnal herpetofaunal surveys of the Turks Cays, including East Cay. I found a total of nine boas in just over four hours on East Cay and three boas in under sic hours on Gibbs Cay, but none on Long Cay. Here I report the discovery of the East Cay population, some morphometric data, and the first record of the striped color morph from the Turks Bank.


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How to Cite

Reynolds, G. (2023). Discovery of a new population of boas on the Turks Bank, Turks and Caicos Islands. Reptiles & Amphibians, 30(1), e20268.