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Colombian Boa

Scientific Name: Boa constrictor imperator
Lifespan: Over 20 years
Size: Up to 8 feet
Diet:Carnivore
Handling Ease:Good

FOOD

  • A Colombian boa’s diet should consist of a whole food item (feeder rodent), fed weekly.
  • The size of the whole food item should not be bigger in circumference than the circumference of the snake.
  • If using frozen feeders, it is important to thaw the feeder completely, using warm water (not hot), never microwaving (causes hot spots). Tongs may be used to entice the snake to strike.
  • When feeding larger live whole food items (small rats or larger), the feeder should not be left in the cage if the snake does not eat it within 15-20 minutes. Feeder rodents can severely injure and even kill a snake by chewing on them.
  • It is not necessary to feed the snake in a separate enclosure, but will not harm anything if you choose to do so.

Caging & Environment

  • A minimum of a 20" long tank with screen cover OR a medium reptile glass habitat [for babies].10 gallon tanks are not recommended because they do not provide the adequate thermal gradient.
  • Reptile Bark substrate
  • 75w Basking Light with fixture (or a light that will provide a basking temperature of 88°- 95°)
  • Hide cave
  • Branches or climbing platform
  • Large Water bowl (large enough to soak in)
  • Spray bottle for misting
  • Colombian boas should be misted at least twice weekly, but daily while shedding.

Behavior/Handling

  • Colombian boas are also called “red-tailed” boas, but reptile hobbyists prefer to reserve that term for the larger subspecies, Boa constrictor.
  • They are one of the favorite pet boas for novice to intermediate reptile keepers.
  • It is recommended to house snakes individually, but if not, they need to be separated for feeding.
  • Important: do not handle snakes immediately after feeding. It is best to give them 24-48 hours to completely digest their meal before handling.