Columbian Boa

Scientific Name Boa constrictor

Native To Columbia, Southern Central America and South America

Habitat Rainforests, dry tropical deserts, semi-deserts, woodlands, scrub and agricultural areas.

Diet Carnivorous. Natural Prey includes rats, mice, amphibians, snakes, birds, and small mammals.

Size and Age Average Length 6-9 feet. Average Lifespan: 20-30 years

Natural History

Boa Constrictors also called red-tailed boas, are non-venomous snakes famous for their method of subduing prey; squeezing, or constricting, it to death. Though they are not as long as some relative snakes, such as the anaconda, they are ranked among the longest snakes in the world. Boa Constrictors have dark saddle-like markings running the length of their bodies. The snake is robust, with a triangular head separated from the body by a thin neck. Boas are generally docile snakes. In the wild, they’re solitary reptiles, preferring to spend their days in hollow logs and abandoned mammal burrows or, being partially arboreal snakes, hanging on low branches.


Conservation Status

Some populations of Boa Constrictors have come under threat to hunters seeking their skins and meat. They have also faced habitat loss from both urban and agricultural development as well as increased danger from road vehicles. Boa constrictors have also been overly collected for the pet trade. With these threats increasing over time it is possible that Boa Constrictors will become threatened or endangered. It is important to keep in mind that wild animals are not prepared to be removed from their natural habitat for any reason. Wild animals struggle with adapting to captive environments as the exposure is very sudden and extremely different. This can cause extreme stress to the reptile, and may result in death. If looking to adopt a reptile as a pet it is advised that you look at a reputable organization such as the Edmonton Reptile Rescue Society, and ensure that you do your research before taking on this heavy commitment.

Interesting Facts

  1. Males are smaller than females
  2. A boa kills its prey by squeezing it to death with its powerful coils. Once its prey has suffocated, the boa constrictor consumes it whole.
  3. Boas aren't constant eaters; in some cases a large meal can sustain a boa for up to a month
  4. Boa constrictors grow quickly, and shed their skin at regular intervals (every 1-2 months). They continue to grow once they have reached maturity, but at a slower rate. The frequency at which they shed their skins roughly halves.
  5. Boa constrictors have small, hooked teeth that they use to grab and hold prey. If their teeth fall out or become damaged, they can regrow them. Boa Constrictors do not have fangs, but their jaws cans stretch extremely wide, allowing them to swallow their prey whole.