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 Colombian boa

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Number of posts : 84
Location : Minneapolis, MN
Registration date : 2008-08-29

PostSubject: Colombian boa   Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:00 pm

Boa constrictor imperator

Common Names:
Colombian boa and Colombian red-tailed boa

Distribution: Boa constrictor imperator inhabits a wide & varied habitat ranging from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, through Central America and outlying islands, to far northern Peru.

Size: Hatchlings approximately 12" - 16" +/-. Females average 7'- 9', males average 5' - 8' adult size. Maximum size is around 12 feet & 50+ pounds, but a specimen over 10' in length is rare. Females are typically distinctly larger than males.

Lifespan: Boa constrictors may live 40 years or more in captivity.


Feed your boa an appropriately sized rodent weekly. By "appropriately sized" I mean prey items that are no bigger around than the snake at its largest point. Boas, especially as juveniles, are not as forgiving of being fed prey items that are too large and this can quickly lead to chronic regurgitation if not corrected immediately. Boas can eat rats from the time they are young - starting off with rat pups or "crawlers" for younger snakes & moving up in size as the animal grows. Do not handle your snake for at least 48 hours after feeding, as this can also lead to regurgitation. Boas typically have great feeding responses and are generally pretty easy to convert to frozen/thawed or pre-killed rodents . Never leave a live rodent unattended with ANY snake.

General Information:

For cage space with you boa you want no less than 1 square foot of floor space per foot of length of snake. Hence if you have a Boa thats 6' long you want a cage atleast 2' wide by 3' long, more is always better! There are a few substrates that work well. Newspaper is the cheapest & easiest with regards to cleaning & disinfecting: out with the old, in with the new. Cypress mulch is great for controlling humidity, but remember that too much humidity can be as detrimental (if not more) as too little. Never use any substrate containing cedar, as this is deadly to reptiles! Provide your boa constrictor with a basking spot of 88-90F and an ambient (background) temperature of 78-80 F. The ambient temperature should not fall below 75 F. It is vitally important to KNOW the temperatures at which you are keeping your snake(s). DO NOT GUESS!! A great way to monitor temps is to use a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with a probe. Stick the thermometer to the inside of the cage on the cool end and place the probe on the warm end, and you'll have both sides covered at once. Providing proper humidity for boas is important to help ensure complete sheds and your boa's overall comfort, but as stated previously too much humidity can be as problematic as too little. First off, let's establish "humidity" as the amount of moisture in the air. To provide your snake with a humidity level of 50% - 60%.There are several ways to go about heating the enclosure: undercage heating pads, ceramic heat emitters, basking bulbs (both regular daytime & red "night" bulbs) are just a few. With heat emitters & bulbs it is necessary to really keep an eye on the humidity within the enclosure, especially if combined with a screen top, as both will dry the air quickly. Use thermostats, rheostats and/or timers to control your heat source. Do not use hot rocks with snakes as they often heat unevenly over too small of a surface area & can cause serious burns.
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