Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor for Sale

Origins and Care Facts

While many people refuse to believe it, boa constrictors have a calm demeanor much of the time. Caring for them is not a hard task, and they’re a remarkable pet to own. Native to South America and some parts of the Caribbean, Boa constrictors are found in various environments, ranging from tropical rainforests to desert-like spots. They like humidity, and providing such a habitat for a pet boa constrictor is critical.

These large, dense snakes are found in a range of environments, from tropical rainforests to semi-arid and desert-like conditions. Boas do climb, especially when young, but mature snakes are more surface-dwelling and don’t need a lot of trees or perches on which to climb in their living space. Like many reptiles, boa constrictors are nocturnal and are much more active and fun to watch at night.

Setting Up a Boa Constrictor Vivarium

New boa constrictor owners will need this equipment to set up the proper vivarium (terrarium habitat) for their new pet:

Enclosure that is at least 4’ x 2’ x 4’. A larger terrarium is better; this recommendation is the minimum size. Important fact: House multiple snakes in separate enclosures.

Boa constrictors live best on a day that is divided into 13 hours of daylight and 11 hours of darkness. There is conflicting data about if boa constrictors require, or thrive in UVB light. The latest information discusses the benefits of UVB light for boa constrictors. Reptifiles.com offers details on exact placement of lights and brands that offer superior light and heat for your pet boa constrictor. The Royal Veterinary College at the University of London also offers additional guidance on UV lighting, temperature and humidity requirements.

Our experienced terrarium vendors at our shows can advise you about UVB lighting and heat lamps for your enclosure.

Basking

Basking is a natural instinct for boa constrictors, and it is important for a boa constrictor owner to take this into account when setting up their living space. These reptiles rely on external resources to keep their body temperature at the right level. When a boa constrictor has sensations that its body temperature needs to be warmed up, its natural instinct is to search for a warmer spot, which is commonly known as a basking spot. The snake might only stay in their basking spot for 20 or so minutes, but it naturally knows the right amount of time it needs to spend there to keep its body temperature at the right level.

The basking area for a boa constrictor should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a tree limb beneath a basking lamp will give the snake a good area for basking. The use of a digital probe thermometer in the basking area, and another on the base, is something that is helpful for boa constrictor owners to regulate their pet’s enclosure.

Size & Lifespan

The boa constrictor ranges in size from 5 to 10 feet long when mature, so their housing needs to be of a large scale. They normally do not exceed 60 pounds in weight. Unlike other species, the male boa constrictor is usually smaller than the female. Their lifespan of 20 to 25 years requires a longtime commitment of owning such a pet, so when considering a boa as a pet, owners need to be certain they’re ready for this type of obligation. When pet owners provide excellent care and the best environment for their boa constrictor, these snakes have lived as long as 40 years or more. Boa constrictors are considered to be one of the longest-living snakes in the world.

Unlike most snakes that lay eggs, boa constrictors produce live births, and the babies need to be incubated. A baby boa constrictor starts out at around 15 – 20 inches and weighs only 3 – 4 ounces.

Diet

The growth pattern of boa constrictors is closely related to their daily feeding routine. Baby boas achieve the most growth during their first two years of life. Once the boa constrictor hits puberty, the growing will slow down a lot. Boa constrictors are carnivores, and do not eat fruits or vegetables. Frozen pre-killed mice or rats available at pet stores are recommended for feeding. Some pet owners raise their own prey; however, this method can become extremely time-consuming, not to mention expensive. Pre-killed prey is also advisable to avoid injuries to your snake if it is too tired to kill live prey that’s provided, or if they aren’t hungry at the time of feeding.

Captive-bred Snakes Make the Best Pets

When bred in captivity, boa constrictors have a more docile temperament than a snake caught in the wild. A captive-bred snake has the advantage of having a calm demeanor because they’re familiar with an enclosed tank, and human contact. As well, a captive-bred boa constrictor’s personal and health history is available and validated.

Vestigial Remnants of Pelvis and Legs

Having evolved from lizards, all snakes had legs at one time. As time passed, snakes no longer had legs, except for two species–the python and the boa constrictor. These snakes have small legs with tiny digits that are used during mating. The exact timeframe of limbless snakes emerging is unknown, but the study of fossils indicates that snakes with limbs existed 100 million years ago.

Handling a Pet Boa Constrictor

For pet owners in search of a boa constrictor that enjoys being handled, they should seek out info on the snake’s health history and the disposition of the snake’s parents. Just like people, snakes have different personalities, and some like being handled, and some do not. Boas that don’t like to be handled can serve as a beautiful showcase animal. Snakes that don’t mind being touched make great educational animals and provide companionship.

Unique Appearance

Boa constrictors have very distinctive markings that vary greatly. Their appearance is dependent on the environment in which they’re trying to hide. Their coloring ranges from tan, to yellow, red, and bright green. Spots are visible on the boa constrictor’s tail, and the markings can be circular, oblong, triangular or egg-shaped.

The differences in appearance, along with the boa constrictors’ other unique traits, make it an excellent choice as a pet.

 

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