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Common Boa Constrictor

Common Boa Constrictor
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Boa constrictor imperator

The Common Boa Constrictor can reach an adult length of 12ft but averages between 5-9ft. This species makes a great exotic pet, however a large enclosure is required when adult.



What does a Common Boa Constrictor look like?

Newborn Common Boa Constrictors are approximately 18 inches. Adults average between 5-9ft, although some large females may reach lengths of 12ft.

The background colour is tan with large dark ruby red patterns running along the dorsal of the body, this darken towards the tail. A diamond pattern runs down each side of the body, usually with a lighter pattern inside. They have a dark line running from the nose, through the eye and towards the neck. Youngsters are normally brighter in colouration, they starts to darken with age.

With regular handling, Common Boa Constrictors and become very tame. Caution should always be taken with snakes over 5ft and it is recommended to have two people while feeding and cleaning.

On average, this snake will live for approximately 20-30 years, one has been recorded at 40 years of age.

Where are Common Boa Constrictor from?

Found in tropical rainforest of Columbia and South America..

How do you keep a Common Boa Constrictor?

A young boa can be kept in a minimum 24x15x15 inch vivarium, however a 36x15x15 inch vivarium is a better size. As your boa grows, you will need to increase the size of the enclosure. Small adult males can be housed in a 48x24x24 inch vivarium, large females may need to be kept in a minimum of 72x24x24 inch enclosure.

When providing heat, we recommend using either a ceramic heater or a high wattage red basking bulb. Heat mats can be used to give a general background temperature, although these will not provided enough heat for a large enclosure. A thermostat is required, this will prevent under or over heating inside your boas enclosure. You need to aim for a ambient air temperature of 26.5-29.5C (80-85F) during the day with a night time drop to 25.5 (78F). A basking area or "hot spot" of 35-38C (95-100F) must be provided. The basking area is very important, if this is not met, your boa can suffer from respiratory infections.

The substrate can range from aspen bedding, orchid bark, beech chipping or newspaper. Providing hides for young snakes is easy, this may be difficult for adults. We recommend placing some strong sturdy branches for you boa to climb on. A large water area for your boa to fully emerge will be required, we use clear storage boxes for adults.

As a general rule, the size of the food should not be any larger than the girth of the snake at it's widest point. Newly born boas should be fed on rat pups for the first few feeds, then placed onto small mice. As they grow, increase their food and feed every 7 days until they reach a length of 3ft. By this time, it should be taking weaner rats or small rats depending on your supplier. Feed every 7-10 days on one or two rats and increase the food as it grows. To reduce growth rate, feed every 10-14 days. When your boa reaches 6ft, you will be looking at feeding this on large to x-large rats or even rabbits every 14 days.

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Please Note: All sizes are approximate and should be used as a guideline only. Lizards are measured from snout to vent (excludes tail), therefore could be double the length listed.


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