3 Reasons Why Animals Should Not Be Kept In Captivity Species of Boa – The 4 Boa Species Best Suited As Pet Snakes

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Species of Boa – The 4 Boa Species Best Suited As Pet Snakes

Boas are among the best snakes to keep as pets. While most boas are large snakes and not necessarily suitable for owners with no previous experience, in my mind there is no better snake. In fact, after 25 years of keeping snakes, if I could only have one it would definitely be a boa constrictor!

Generally boas, although large and powerful, are usually a pleasure to handle and generally docile by nature. There are 28 known species of boas, and many can be kept in captivity, although some are certainly more suitable than others. This is a guide to the 4 most suitable species for captivity.

Common boas Boa Constrictor Imperator

Common boas, also referred to as Central American boas or Colombian boas, range from Mexico to Central South America. Variable in appearance as well as habitat, they thrive anywhere from rainforests to scrub. Most Boa Constrictors in captivity are common Boas, most of which originate from Colombia.

While no boa is the perfect pet snake, the common boa comes closest to achieving that title. They tend to be significantly cheaper than other boats such as They are usually very docile, will normally take molted prey without difficulty and are generally easy to care for.

Tending to be slightly smaller than the Red-tailed Boas, the Boa Constrictor Imperator will generally reach 6 – 9 feet in length as an adult. Males will tend to be slightly shorter and less built than females, and sex can usually be determined by the anal spurs which are quite pronounced in males.

Hatchlings will be about 14 – 20 inches at birth and will normally start feeding well on fuzzy mice soon after their first shedding if given optimal conditions.

If you want a beautiful snake that is relatively easy to care for and good to handle, the Common Boa may be an ideal choice.

Red-tailed Boas Boa Constrictor Constrictor

The true Redtail is found only in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of northern Brazil, eastern Peru, Suriname, Guyana, and southern Colombia. They are generally light in color with prominent saddle markings, which are rich red bordered in black on the anterior third of the snake.

Generally taller and more built than the common boa, the Red Tail can grow to over 12 feet in length, although 9 – 10 feet is more common.

They are generally considered suitable for more experienced keepers, mainly due to their larger size and the fact that they are more difficult to breed in captivity than the common boa. They are also much more expensive than regular boats. Having said that, they are still docile and generally easy to care for snakes. If you are prepared for the large size and can accommodate a large enough enclosure, they are truly stunning animals. A large adult will require an enclosure at least 6′ in length by 3′ and will usually receive a rat or jungle rabbit once every two weeks.

Boas and Dumeril Boa Dumerili

Dumeril’s is a CITES-protected species from Madagascar. The CITES status of this species means that specimens bred in WC or CF cannot be exported, but does not prevent keeping CB snakes. However, if you buy a Boa Dumeril, you will need CITES documents to prove its origin and to be micro-chipped. Any reputable breeder or dealer with Dumeril’s Boas for sale will be able to arrange the paperwork and advise on micro chipping (adults should already be chipped, but juveniles too small to chip will require a visit to vet to have a chip placed when they are old enough.

They are a great alternative to the common or red-tailed Boa for keepers who want a large boa but are intimidated by the idea of ​​owning an 8-10 foot snake. These snakes rarely exceed 7 feet in length, and adults often do not exceed 5 feet.

A similar husbandry to the Common Boat is required for Dumeril’s, although some specimens can be more problematic to feed and are slightly more prone to stress.

Rainbow Boas Epicrates Cenchria

Rainbow boats get their name from a rainbow on their skin when exposed to the sun or other bright light. There are several subspecies, found throughout most of South America, and of these the Brazilian (Walk CenchriaI) and Colombian (Walk Maurus) are the most common in captivity.

In general, Rainbow Boas are considered a more advanced snake and only suitable for experienced herpetoculturists. This is mainly due to the fact that these are usually much less tolerant of handling than snakes such as boa constrictors. Whether Rainbow Boas are not suitable to keep as a first snake really depends on what you want from a snake. If you want a snake that you can handle whenever you want, and you don’t have to worry too much about the snake being aggressive, then a Rainbow Boa is probably not for you. However, if you want a beautiful snake that you can observe in its vivarium the way you would enjoy fish in an aquarium, then there is no reason why a Rainbow Boa could not be kept as a first snake, provided be able to give it the environment and care it needs.

A temperature (controlled by the thermostat) of about 78 – 80 F should be provided at night, rising to 85 – 90 F during the day. Humidity should be kept high enough. In addition to a pool/bowl with enough water to soak in, the enclosure should be misted daily. These snakes very rarely drink from pools, but will take rainwater drops from branches and leaves, and even their scales. Aim for a humidity of 75-80%. Since high humidity encourages the growth of mold and mildew, extra care must be taken to ensure cleanliness and good ventilation.

Other boa species

There are of course many other types of boas, including much smaller species such as pink boas and ground boas. But for the average snake owner who wants a truly magnificent snake and is able to commit to keeping a large snake for 20+ years, one of these 4 great species would certainly be my choice.

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