boidae

Summary

Summary: A family of snakes comprising the boas, anacondas, and pythons. They occupy a variety of habitats through the tropics and subtropics and are arboreal, aquatic or fossorial (burrowing). Some are oviparous, others ovoviviparous. Contrary to popular opinion, they do not crush the bones of their victims: their coils exert enough pressure to stop a prey's breathing, thus suffocating it. There are five subfamilies: Boinae, Bolyerinae, Erycinae, Pythoninae, and Tropidophiinae. (Goin, Goin, and Zug, Introduction to Herpetology, 3d ed, p315-320)

Top Publications

  1. Cohn M, Tickle C. Developmental basis of limblessness and axial patterning in snakes. Nature. 1999;399:474-9 pubmed
    ..The failure to activate these signalling pathways during normal python development may also stem from changes in Hox gene expression that occurred early in snake evolution...
  2. Pees M, Schmidt V, Marschang R, Heckers K, Krautwald Junghanns M. Prevalence of viral infections in captive collections of boid snakes in Germany. Vet Rec. 2010;166:422-5 pubmed publisher
    ..A significant correlation was found between the origin of the snake and the presence of PMV, and between the presence of remarkable microbiological findings and husbandry conditions...
  3. Vancraeynest D, Pasmans F, Martel A, Chiers K, Meulemans G, Mast J, et al. Inclusion body disease in snakes: a review and description of three cases in boa constrictors in Belgium. Vet Rec. 2006;158:757-60 pubmed
    Inclusion body disease, a fatal disorder in Boidae, is reviewed, and three cases in boa constrictors, the first reported cases in Belgium, are described...
  4. Rivera P, Di Cola V, Martinez J, Gardenal C, Chiaraviglio M. Species delimitation in the continental forms of the genus Epicrates (Serpentes, Boidae) integrating phylogenetics and environmental niche models. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e22199 pubmed publisher
    Until recently, the genus Epicrates (Boidae) presented only one continental species, Epicrates cenchria, distributed in Central and South America, but after a taxonomic revision using morphologic characters five species were recognized: E...
  5. Huder J, Böni J, Hatt J, Soldati G, Lutz H, Schupbach J. Identification and characterization of two closely related unclassifiable endogenous retroviruses in pythons (Python molurus and Python curtus). J Virol. 2002;76:7607-15 pubmed
    ..constrictor or P. regius. Thus, there is no indication that this novel virus, which we propose to name python endogenous retrovirus (PyERV), is causally linked with BIBD...
  6. Tzika A, Koenig S, Miller R, Garcia G, Remy C, Milinkovitch M. Population structure of an endemic vulnerable species, the Jamaican boa (Epicrates subflavus). Mol Ecol. 2008;17:533-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Bayesian and metaGA analyses of the mitochondrial data set combined with sequences from other Boidae species indicate that rooting of the haplotypic network occurs most likely between the two defined haplogroups...
  7. Secor S, Diamond J. Evolution of regulatory responses to feeding in snakes. Physiol Biochem Zool. 2000;73:123-41 pubmed
    ..We propose further tests of this hypothesis among other snake species and among other ectotherms...
  8. Lynch V, Wagner G. Did egg-laying boas break Dollo's law? Phylogenetic evidence for reversal to oviparity in sand boas (Eryx: Boidae). Evolution. 2010;64:207-16 pubmed publisher
    ..Remarkably, like other viviparous boas hatchlings of oviparous Eryx lack an egg-tooth providing independent evidence that oviparity is a derived state in these species...
  9. Jacobson E, Oros J, Tucker S, Pollock D, Kelley K, Munn R, et al. Partial characterization of retroviruses from boid snakes with inclusion body disease. Am J Vet Res. 2001;62:217-24 pubmed
    ..To characterize retroviruses isolated from boid snakes with inclusion body disease (IBD)...

More Information

Publications62

  1. Noonan B, Chippindale P. Dispersal and vicariance: the complex evolutionary history of boid snakes. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006;40:347-58 pubmed
    Since the early 1970s, boine snakes (Boidae: Boinae) have served as a prime example of a group whose current distribution was shaped by vicariant events associated with the fragmentation of the supercontinent Gondwana...
  2. Pyron R, Burbrink F, Guiher T. Claims of potential expansion throughout the U.S. by invasive python species are contradicted by ecological niche models. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e2931 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the ecological limitations of the Burmese python are not known and the possible effects of global warming on the potential expansion of the species are also unclear...
  3. Boughner J, Buchtová M, Fu K, Diewert V, Hallgrimsson B, Richman J. Embryonic development of Python sebae - I: Staging criteria and macroscopic skeletal morphogenesis of the head and limbs. Zoology (Jena). 2007;110:212-30 pubmed
    ..Thus, reptilian animal models will offer unique opportunities for understanding the early influences that contribute to perinatal bone shape...
  4. Booth W, Johnson D, Moore S, Schal C, Vargo E. Evidence for viable, non-clonal but fatherless Boa constrictors. Biol Lett. 2011;7:253-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings provide the first evidence of parthenogenesis in the family Boidae (Boas), and suggest that WW females may be more common within basal reptilian lineages than previously assumed.
  5. Booth W, Million L, Reynolds R, Burghardt G, Vargo E, Schal C, et al. Consecutive virgin births in the new world boid snake, the Colombian rainbow Boa, Epicrates maurus. J Hered. 2011;102:759-63 pubmed publisher
    ..documents the first record of parthenogenesis within the genus Epicrates, a second within the serpent lineage Boidae, and the third genetically confirmed case of consecutive virgin births of viable offspring within any vertebrate ..
  6. Burbrink F. Inferring the phylogenetic position of Boa constrictor among the Boinae. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005;34:167-80 pubmed
    ..Additionally, strong tree support suggests that all species within Madagascar, the Papuan-Pacific Islands, and the Neotropics each form a monophyletic group with respect to their geographic region...
  7. Lourdais O, Brischoux F, DeNardo D, Shine R. Protein catabolism in pregnant snakes (Epicrates cenchria maurus Boidae) compromises musculature and performance after reproduction. J Comp Physiol B. 2004;174:383-91 pubmed
    ..g. biannual or triannual), two common ecological traits of female snakes...
  8. Secor S, Diamond J. A vertebrate model of extreme physiological regulation. Nature. 1998;395:659-62 pubmed
    ..Combined with other experimental advantages, these features recommend juvenile pythons as the equivalent of a squid axon in vertebrate regulatory biology...
  9. Reed R, Willson J, Rodda G, Dorcas M. Ecological correlates of invasion impact for Burmese pythons in Florida. Integr Zool. 2012;7:254-270 pubmed publisher
  10. Falodun A, Owolabi O, Osahon O. Physicochemical, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory evaluation of fixed oil from Boa constrictor. Acta Pol Pharm. 2008;65:477-80 pubmed
    ..aureus and S. pyrogenes organisms, thus, justifying the traditional usage of the fat of Boa constrictor...
  11. Lourdais O, Hoffman T, DeNardo D. Maternal brooding in the children's python (Antaresia childreni) promotes egg water balance. J Comp Physiol B. 2007;177:569-77 pubmed
    ..Overall, these results demonstrate that brooding behavior strongly promotes egg water balance (and thus egg viability) in children's pythons...
  12. Paperna I, Lainson R. Ultrastructural studies on the sporogony of Hepatozoon spp. in Culex quinquefasciatus say, 1823 fed on infected Caiman crocodilus and Boa constrictor from northern Brazil. Parasitology. 2003;127:147-54 pubmed
    ..Sporozoite differentiation occasionally started on the 18th day p.f., but otherwise was observed only on day 22 p.f...
  13. Rawlings L, Donnellan S. Phylogeographic analysis of the green python, Morelia viridis, reveals cryptic diversity. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2003;27:36-44 pubmed
    ..The southern mitochondrial lineage includes all of the Australian haplotypes, which form a single lineage, nested among the southern New Guinean haplotypes...
  14. Enok S, Simonsen L, Wang T. The contribution of gastric digestion and ingestion of amino acids on the postprandial rise in oxygen consumption, heart rate and growth of visceral organs in pythons. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2013;165:46-53 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, there was no growth of the visceral organs in response to digestion when chyme was prevented from reaching the intestine...
  15. Colston T, Grazziotin F, Shepard D, Vitt L, Colli G, Henderson R, et al. Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of tree boas (Corallus spp.). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2013;66:953-9 pubmed publisher
  16. Rodda G, Jarnevich C, Reed R. Challenges in identifying sites climatically matched to the native ranges of animal invaders. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e14670 pubmed publisher
    ..We evaluated a number of MaxEnt models on this species to assess MaxEnt's utility for vertebrate climate matching...
  17. Panzano V, Kang K, Garrity P. Infrared snake eyes: TRPA1 and the thermal sensitivity of the snake pit organ. Sci Signal. 2010;3:pe22 pubmed publisher
  18. Zerbe P, Glaus T, Clauss M, Hatt J, Steinmetz H. Ultrasonographic evaluation of postprandial heart variation in juvenile Paraguay anacondas (Eunectes notaeus). Am J Vet Res. 2011;72:1253-8 pubmed publisher
    ..To noninvasively evaluate physiologic postprandial adaptations of the heart in snakes...
  19. Dipineto L, Russo T, Calabria M, De Rosa L, Capasso M, Menna L, et al. Oral flora of Python regius kept as pets. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2014;58:462-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Staphylococcus spp. was the commonest Gram-positive isolates, and various anaerobic Clostridium species were also found. The most effective antimicrobial agents were enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, followed by doxycycline and gentamicin...
  20. Gómez Puerta L, López Urbina M, Gonzalez A. Presence of Porocephalus clavatus (Arthropoda: Porocephalidae) in Peruvian Boidae snakes. Vet Parasitol. 2011;181:379-81 pubmed publisher
    ..species, Porocephalus clavatus, has been found to infect the lungs of two species of snakes in the family Boidae family (Boa constrictor and Epicrates cenchria). The individual of B...
  21. Preziosi R, Diana A, Florio D, Gustinelli A, Nardini G. Osteitis deformans (Paget's disease) in a Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus)--a case report. Vet J. 2007;174:669-72 pubmed
  22. Martinez J, Segura P, Garcia D, Aduriz G, Ibabe J, Peris B, et al. Septicaemia secondary to infection by Corynebacterium macginleyi in an Indian python (Python molurus). Vet J. 2006;172:382-5 pubmed
    ..maltophilia as a secondary agent is discussed. The stress of the circus show and poor husbandry may have predisposed the animal to infection and septicaemia. This is the first report of C. macginleyi causing disease in a snake...
  23. Dorcas M, Peterson C, Flint M. The thermal biology of digestion in rubber boas (Charina bottae): physiology, behavior, and environmental constraints. Physiol Zool. 1997;70:292-300 pubmed
    ..These results demonstrate how interpretation of laboratory studies can be improved when combined with measurements of appropriate environmental conditions...
  24. McCue M. Snakes survive starvation by employing supply- and demand-side economic strategies. Zoology (Jena). 2007;110:318-27 pubmed
    ..This approach was used to make comparisons about the efficacy of various supply- and demand-side starvation strategies among the three species examined, but could also be used to make similar comparisons among other types of animals...
  25. Frutos M, Monetti M, Ré V, Cuffini C. Molecular evidence of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in reptiles in Argentina. Rev Argent Microbiol. 2014;46:45-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first report of the detection of C. pneumoniae in reptiles in Argentina...
  26. Gabirot M, Picerno P, Valencia J, Lopez P, MARTIN J. Chemosensory age discrimination in the snake Boa constrictor (Serpentes: Boidae). Rev Biol Trop. 2012;60:1603-11 pubmed
    ..We discuss the potential chemical mechanisms that may allow age recognition and its implications for social and sexual behavior of this snake species...
  27. Siuda K, Nowak M, Kedryna M. [Transfer of exotic tick Aponomma latum (Koch, 1844) (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae) on ball pythons (Python regius Shaw, 1802) brought to Poland]. Wiad Parazytol. 2004;50:337-41 pubmed
    ..549 specimens of A. latum were collected including 341 males, 149 females and 59 nymphs at the various stage of engorgement. Tick A. latum is frequently transferred beyond its natural range of occurrence--Afrotropical region...
  28. Sklansky M, Levy D, Elias W, Morris P, Grossfeld P, Kashani I, et al. Reptilian echocardiography: insights into ontogeny and phylogeny?. Echocardiography. 2001;18:531-3 pubmed
    ..In addition, the reptilian heart has unique structural and physiological adaptations that may broaden our perspective on evolutionary cardiac adaptation...
  29. de Groot J, van Leeuwen J. Estimation of the longitudinal axis of line symmetrical soft bodies by stereophotogrammetry. J Biomech. 2002;35:823-7 pubmed
    ..The result is an optimally estimated finite spatial curve defined by the polynomial parameters. The method is applicable for all line symmetrical organs or segments...
  30. Ujvari B, Madsen T. Short telomeres in hatchling snakes: erythrocyte telomere dynamics and longevity in tropical pythons. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e7493 pubmed publisher
    ..In the present study we explore whether age- and sex-specific telomere dynamics affect life span in a long-lived snake, the water python (Liasis fuscus)...
  31. Campbell A, Bunning T, Stone M, Church D, Grace M. Surface ultrastructure of pit organ, spectacle, and non pit organ epidermis of infrared imaging boid snakes: A scanning probe and scanning electron microscopy study. J Struct Biol. 1999;126:105-20 pubmed
    ..These differences serve to strengthen the argument that arrays of micropit and plate surface structures function as spectral filters or anti-reflective coatings with respect to incident electromagnetic radiation...
  32. Hedley J, Eatwell K. The effects of UV light on calcium metabolism in ball pythons (Python regius). Vet Rec. 2013;173:345 pubmed publisher
    ..These results may provide baseline parameters for future studies in this and other snake species to determine ability to utilise UV-b light for vitamin D production. ..
  33. Hernandez Divers S, Shearer D. Pulmonary mycobacteriosis caused by Mycobacterium haemophilum and M. marinum in a royal python. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002;220:1661-3, 1650 pubmed
  34. Corrente M, Totaro M, Martella V, Campolo M, Lorusso A, Ricci M, et al. Reptile-associated salmonellosis in man, Italy. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006;12:358-9 pubmed
  35. Pees M, Bochmann M, Krautwald Junghanns M, Schmidt V, Ludewig E. [Comparative radiography of the respiratory tract of snakes using conventional high-resolution film-screen-system and a digital detector system]. Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2010;123:177-85 pubmed
    ..A limiting factor is the demonstration of particularly small structures. Generally, a dose reduction (compared to a conventional high-resolution film-screen-system) is possible for the evaluation of the respiratory system...
  36. Machado C, Silva L, Ramos P, Takahira R. Seasonal influence on hematologic values and hemoglobin electrophoresis in Brazilian boa constrictor amarali. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2006;37:487-91 pubmed
    ..in the winter and four in the summer, although it appears that their presence did not cause any significant alterations in the CBC. The electrophoretic analysis of the samples demonstrated two-four hemoglobin bands in this species...
  37. Wang T, Zaar M, Arvedsen S, Vedel Smith C, Overgaard J. Effects of temperature on the metabolic response to feeding in Python molurus. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2002;133:519-27 pubmed
  38. Kojimoto A, Uchida K, Horii Y, Okumura S, Yamaguch R, Tateyama S. Amebiasis in four ball pythons, Python reginus. J Vet Med Sci. 2001;63:1365-8 pubmed
    ..Based on the pathological findings, these snakes were infested with a member of Entamoeba sp., presumably with infection by Entamoeba invadens, the most prevalent type of reptilian amoebae...
  39. Korn B, Korn T. Cyanoacrylate repair of laser in situ keratomileusis corneal flap perforation by a snake bite. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2005;31:2224-6 pubmed
    ..Cyanoacrylate may be used to repair small traumatic corneal perforations with a favorable visual outcome in eyes that have had LASIK...
  40. Jacobson E, Heard D, Andersen A. Identification of Chlamydophila pneumoniae in an emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2004;16:153-4 pubmed
    ..These findings show that C. pneumoniae can infect emerald tree boas, broadening the range of reptiles known to be infected by this primarily human pathogen...
  41. Andrade D, De Toledo L, Abe A, Wang T. Ventilatory compensation of the alkaline tide during digestion in the snake Boa constrictor. J Exp Biol. 2004;207:1379-85 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, the constant arterial PCO2, in the absence of an alkaline tide, of omeprazole-treated snakes strongly suggests that pH rather than PCO2 normally affects chemoreceptor activity and ventilatory drive...
  42. Micheletta J, Waller B, Panggur M, Neumann C, Duboscq J, Agil M, et al. Social bonds affect anti-predator behaviour in a tolerant species of macaque, Macaca nigra. Proc Biol Sci. 2012;279:4042-50 pubmed
    ..This result broadens our understanding of the evolution and function of social bonds by highlighting their importance in the anti-predator context...
  43. Secor S, Nagy T, Johnston K, Tamura T. Effect of feeding on circulating micronutrient concentrations in the Burmese python (Python molurus). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2001;129:673-9 pubmed
    ..Most micronutrient concentrations appear to plateau 3 days after feeding, suggesting that pythons have relatively rapid homeostasis of micronutrients despite the ingestion of large meals...
  44. Vanin S, Mazzariol S, Menandro M, Lafisca A, Turchetto M. Myiasis by Megaselia scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae) in a python affected by pulmonitis. J Med Entomol. 2013;50:209-11 pubmed
    ..of myiasis caused by the Megaselia scalaris (Loew) in an Indian python (Python molurus bivittatus, Kuhl) (Ophida: Boidae)...
  45. Pizzatto L, Almeida Santos S, Shine R. Life-history adaptations to arboreality in snakes. Ecology. 2007;88:359-66 pubmed
    ..This modification of ovarian morphology in arboreal snakes presumably reduces the degree of bodily distension during vitellogenesis and pregnancy, thus enhancing climbing ability and camouflage among the branches...
  46. Penning D, Dartez S, Moon B. The big squeeze: scaling of constriction pressure in two of the world's largest snakes, Python reticulatus and Python molurus bivittatus. J Exp Biol. 2015;218:3364-7 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose the latter 'red-out effect' as another possible mechanism of prey death from constriction. These effects may be important to recognize and treat properly in rare cases when constrictors injure humans. ..
  47. Schmidt V, Marschang R, Abbas M, Ball I, Szabo I, Helmuth R, et al. Detection of pathogens in Boidae and Pythonidae with and without respiratory disease. Vet Rec. 2013;172:236 pubmed publisher
    ..In total, 80 boid snakes of the families Boidae (n = 30) and Pythonidae (n = 50) from 48 private and zoo collections were included in this survey...
  48. Riquelme C, Magida J, Harrison B, Wall C, Marr T, Secor S, et al. Fatty acids identified in the Burmese python promote beneficial cardiac growth. Science. 2011;334:528-31 pubmed publisher
    ..We also identified a combination of fatty acids in python plasma that promotes physiological heart growth when injected into either pythons or mice...
  49. Labruna M, Ahid S, Soares H, Suassuna A. Hyperparasitism in Amblyomma rotundatum (Acari: Ixodidae). J Parasitol. 2007;93:1531-2 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, we present the second report of hyperparasitism for the genus Amblyomma...
  50. Starck J, Beese K. Structural flexibility of the intestine of Burmese python in response to feeding. J Exp Biol. 2001;204:325-35 pubmed
  51. Grace M, Church D, Kelly C, Lynn W, Cooper T. The Python pit organ: imaging and immunocytochemical analysis of an extremely sensitive natural infrared detector. Biosens Bioelectron. 1999;14:53-9 pubmed
    ..These results also provide the first identification of prospective biochemical components of infrared signal transduction in pit organ receptor neurons...
  52. Conlon J, Secor S, Adrian T, Mynarcik D, Whittaker J. Purification and characterization of islet hormones (insulin, glucagon, pancreatic, polypeptide and somatostatin) from the Burmese python, Python molurus. Regul Pept. 1997;71:191-8 pubmed
  53. Helmstetter C, Reix N, T Flachebba M, Pope R, Secor S, Le Maho Y, et al. Functional changes with feeding in the gastro-intestinal epithelia of the Burmese python (Python molurus). Zoolog Sci. 2009;26:632-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This cell plasticity also allows anticipation of the next fasting and feeding periods...