Charina bottae Northern Rubber Boa
Also known as:
Coastal Rubber Boa
Shaver Lake, Fresno County, CaliforniaAugust 15, 2005
Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)
Rubber boas are marvelously odd snakes. First off, they are boas, yet they range into cold habitat way up into Canada, and way up above 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which is odd in itself. To be so tolerant of cold temperatures, they have extremely low metabolism rates, which makes them extremely slow. These guys are the slugs of the snake world. Also, they have this funny skin that looks and feels like rubber, and gets big creases where the skin of most snakes would curve smoothly.

I came across this charming little rubber boa on a cool evening after a long drizzly day. It was hanging out next to a tree near the lakeshore where our dog Champ liked to play in the water. Or perhaps it was racing along at top speed after some prey; with rubber boas there is very little difference between these two activities.

Online references:
Printed references: