Boa constrictor (© RVC)

Introduction

The boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) is a common pet snake of the family Boidae.

Morphology

They may grow to a length of about 4 metres (13 ft). Unlike many other boids they do not have heat-sensitive pits. The colouring tends to vary geographically but they tend to be a snake with brown or red saddles along the dorsum. There is a proliferation of names by hobbyists to describe colour forms.

Free-Living

  • Distribution - Boa constrictors have a large natural range from Argentina in the south to northwestern Mexico.
  • Habitat - Boas may be arboreal or terrestrial. They are often seen along rivers.
  • Diet - Free-ranging boas are generalists. They feed on mammals and birds.

Captivity

Boa constrictors are very popular as pets. Captive-bred ones are less likely to be aggressive and are easier to keep, but are prone to inclusion body disease.

  • Cage – They require caging to reflect their size.
  • Temperature - a temperature range of 25-30°C is adequate.
  • Humidity - Humidity requirements are between 50-70%.
  • Diet - Boas usually feed well on dead rodents.
  • Reproduction – Boas are viviparous and may produce up to 50 young after a gestation period of 5-8 months.


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