A Brazilian rainbow boa apparently conceived asexually at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona is thriving after being hatched by its mother without male fertilization.
The snake was found in its mother’s enclosure on August 3, according to the zoo. The mother, a resident of the zoo for 10 years, was not paired with a male at any point.
The baby boa was “likely born through a process called parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction where an egg develops without fertilization by a male’s sperm,” wrote the zoo.
Although some reptiles exclusively procreate through parthenogenesis, boas primarily stick to old-fashioned sexual reproduction. This Phoenix Zoo boa may be the second documented case of parthenogenesis in the species, after a boa born at the Sacramento Zoo in 2018.
This video, which the zoo said was filmed on August 24, shows the new boa slithering around its enclosure with aplomb. Credit: Phoenix Zoo via Storyful