Bolyeria multocarinata Boie, 1827

Round Island (burrowing) boa



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Eryx Multocarinata Boie, 1827; Tortrix Pseudo-Eryx Schlegel ,1837; Bolyeria Pseudo-Eryx Gray, 1842; Platygaster multicarinatus Duméril & Bibron, 1844; Bolyeria multicarinata Gray, 1849


Conservation Status


Last record: 1975 (Bullock, 1977)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


This species originally had a much larger distribution throughout Mauritius; Round Island being its last refuge, from which it has now probably disappeared as well.

A joint expedition was conducted from 24 April to 4 May, 2001 on Round Island to try to rediscover the species, which was only recorded four times during the 20th century. For specific details of areas searched and methods employed to try and trap an remaining specimens, see (Korsos & Trocsanyi, 2006).



Round Island, Mauritius


Biology & Ecology

The first evidence that the monotypic genus Bolyeria was oviparous was given in (Hallermann & Glaw, 2006).



Holotype: MHNP 7185

Other specimens:

ZM B[erlin] 8984 (collected in 1874-5)
ZM H[amburg] R06726 [ex 1265 and 10143]
Natural History Museum, London (3 specimens)
Mauritius Institute (1 specimen)

7 specimens are preserved in museum collections according to (Korsos & Trocsanyi, 2006). However, if the specimen mentioned in (Vinson, 1975) is not the same as the one described by (Hallermann & Glaw, 2006), then 8 specimens exist provided that the specimen mentioned by (Vinson, 1975) still exists.



A photograph of a preserved specimen can be found here:



Original scientific description:

Boie, F. (1827). Bemerkungen über Merrem's Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier. Isis van Oken, Jena, 20: 508-566.


Other references:

Arnold, E.N. 1980. Recently extinct reptile populations from Mauritius and Réunion, Indian Ocean. Journal of Zoology 191: 33-47.

Bauer, A. M. and Günther, R. (2004). On a newly identified specimen of the extinct bolyeriid snake Bolyeria multocarinata (Boie, 1827). [i]Herpetozoa[/i] 17(3/4): 179-181.

Bullock, David J. (1977). Round Island - a tale of destruction. Oryx 14: 51-58.

Bullock, David J. (1986). The ecology and conservation of reptiles on Round Island and Gunner's Quoin, Mauritius. Biol. Conserv. 37: 135-156.

Cheke, A.S. 1987. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene island birds, pp. 5-89. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Cheke, A.S. and Hume, J.P. 2008. Lost Land of the Dodo: and ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues. Yale University Press.

Cole, N. (2021). Bolyeria multocarinata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T2864A13483086. Accessed on 01 July 2022.

Cole, N., Mootoocurpen, R. and Nundlaul, V. 2018. Relative density estimates of Round Island's reptiles. The Journal of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius 1: 1-22.

Cundall, D. and Irish, F.J. 1986. Aspects of locomotor and feeding behaviour in the Round Island boa Casarea dussumieri. Dodo, Journal of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trusts 23: 108-111.

Cundall, D. and Irish, F.J. 1989. The function of the intramaxillary joint in the Round Island Boa, Casarea dussumieri. Journal of Zoology 217: 569-598.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Frazzetta, T.H. 1970. From hopeful monsters to bolyerine snakes? The American Naturalist 104: 55-72.

Guibé, J. (1958). Les serpentes de Madagascar. Mem. Inst. Sci. Madagascar, series A, 12: 189-260.

Hallermann, Dr. Jakob and Glaw, Dr. Frank. (2006). Evidence for oviparity in the extinct bolyeriid snake Bolyeria multocarinata. Herpetozoa 19(1/2): 82-85.

Hudon, Daniel (writer) and Behin, Elahe (illustrator). (2014, April 6th). Brief Eulogies for Lost Species. Paragraphiti. Retrieved from [accessed 21 April, 2018]

Korsós, Zoltan and Trócsányi, Balazs. (2002). Herpetofauna of Round Island, Mauritius. Biota 3(1-2): 77-84.

Korsós, Zoltan and Trócsányi, Balazs. (2006). The enigmatic Round Island boa (Bolyeria multicarinata): survival in the wild remains unconfirmed. African Herp News 40: 2-7.

Maas, P.H.J. (2010). Round Island Burrowing Boa - Bolyeria multocarinata. In: TSEW (2010). The Sixth Extinction Website. ( Downloaded on December 11, 2010 .

Madagascar Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group. (1996). Bolyeria multocarinata. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 09 November 2012.

Merton, D.V. 1987. Eradication of rabbits from Round Island, Mauritius: a conservation success story. Dodo: Journal of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust 24: 19-43.

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Uetz, P. et al., The Reptile Database, , accessed December 11, 2010.

Vargas, Pablo. (2023). Exploring ‘endangered living fossils’ (ELFs) among monotypic genera of plants and animals of the world. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1100503.

Vinson, J. 1953. Some recent data on the fauna of Round and Serpent Islands. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius 1: 253-257.

Vinson, J. M. (1975). Notes on the reptiles of Round Island. Bull. Mauritius Inst. 8(1): 49-67.


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