The rosy boa is a secretive (1), burrowing snake, which spends the majority of its time hidden beneath rocks and in crevices (5) (7), particularly during periods of extreme heat (2), and during winter in the colder parts of its range when it hibernates (5). Most activity takes place during the night (7), when it moves slowly across the ground, sometimes climbing into low shrubs (2).
Like other snakes in the Boidae family, the rosy boa is a powerful constrictor, making it a formidable predator. When its prey (a small mammal, bird or lizard), is within range, the rosy boa strikes out in a sudden, explosive motion (2). Grabbing the prey with its backward-curved teeth, the rosy boa quickly coils its muscular body around the animal and squeezes until its prey either suffocates, or its heart is too restricted to pump blood (2) (5). When the prey is dead, the rosy boa proceeds to swallow its victim whole (2).
Despite the deadly predatory skills of the rosy boa, this snake is still a desired prey item for a number of other animals, including owls, coyotes and kit foxes (7). It does, however, have a tactic it employs to try and avoid being the victim. When attacked by a predator, it will roll up into a ball, with its head in the centre. The blunt tail is thought to be a way of luring predators into attacking the wrong end of the snake (4), and also deters predators by releasing a foul-smelling musk from glands near the base of the tail (2).
The rosy boa mates in May and June, with between six and ten live young being born after a 130 day gestation period, around October and November (2). This snake is estimated to live for between 15 and 22 years (2).