Are you wondering what makes the Red-Tailed Boa Constrictors a popular pet?
You could easily attribute it to its appearance. These heavy-bodied, non-venomous snakes come in bright and attractive colors.
Pet lovers fond of slithery companions will sure consider owning this quiet natured species of a large snake. Read through to know more about this relative of the third-largest snake species in the world.
Where does this heavy-bodied snake come from?
Belonging to the Boidae family of snakes, the boa constrictors are natives to Central, North, and South American regions. However, you can also find them in some of the scattered islands of the Caribbean. Though these species belong to a class of primitive snakes, the reason they are found mostly in the North and South American regions calls for classifying it as new world snakes.
Why does it have a constrictor as part of its name?
Red-Tailed boas also known by the abbreviation BCC which is short for its scientific name B.c Constrictor. These non-venomous snakes attack the prey and subdue by constricting it.
A notorious predator indeed as it aims at cutting off blood supply to vital organs, which cause the death of the prey. Be sure you get yourself well acquainted with this Boa species before you start handling him. You are safe as far as you do not appear to look like food to this slithery companion.
What to expect in terms of size and weight?
These attractively hued and patterned snakes are moderately sized. Generally, their size ranges between two to three meters in length. They can weigh up to 60 pounds, some of the large species can weigh as massive as 100 pounds, but this is very rare. The females are known to weigh more substantial than their male counterparts.
What is the ideal habitat of this constrictor species?
These snakes are prevalent in pet trade because it can tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions. From dense tropical rain forests to drylands, it can quickly adapt itself to different habitats.
It is also quite common to find these heavy-bodied snakes close to human settlements due to the easy access rodents such as mice and rats.
What is so distinctive about appearance and coloring?
Usually, you come across these constrictor species in brown, grey, and cream base colors. You can easily distinguish the red-tailed species from the brown or reddish-brown patterns (saddles) that are more visible towards the tail of the slithery friend. Now you know why the red tail is prefixed to this species.
These patterns and coloring give them excellent camouflage in their natural habitat and thus helps it from other predators.
What is Boa’s favorite food?
Young Boas are known to relish small mice, birds, lizards, and amphibians. They can feed on large ones based as they grow. Rodents are a favorite among these constrictor species. However, they also feed on medium-sized mammals and birds.
The Skillful Predator
Known to be ambush predators, they wait for their prey and attack it, grabbing the prey by teeth. It then coils around to kill it.
It swallows the prey headfirst. Now that it has had its stomach full, it will be spending about 4-5 days in dormancy as it takes a lot of time for the food to digest. Sometimes it can go for weeks without food due to its slow metabolism rate.
Breeding and Activity
Boa species give birth to live young ones making it viviparous and are known to breed in the dry seasons between April and August. Female Boas can give birth to an average litter size of 25.
Young ones are somewhat independent and tend to grow faster. They shed once every one to two months. Most of the known species are bred in captivity for the pet trade; these captively bred ones are more popular than the wild ones.
They are mostly nocturnal; however, they love basking in the day time when there is a drop in the night temperatures. They limit interaction to themselves unless they want to mate.
Young boas are curious explorers and would love climbing up trees, short shrubs, etc. As they age, they tend to be more terrestrial. You might also be surprised to find an ace swimmer in the Read tailed Boa.
Are these a friendly species?
They are known for their quiet nature and can be easily tamed in captivity. Similar to other snakes, they tend to get defensive when they notice a threat. Their bite can be painful, but not dangerous to humans.
Some of the species from Central America are known to be more ferocious as they hiss loudly and strike when they are disturbed. During the shedding season, they seem to be more defensive as the liquid that acts as a lubricant can reduce their vision. They are very irritable during this time.
As an avid pet lover, you will know that leaving him to enjoy his solitude is best for your slithery companion and you.
Lifespan and Diseases.
Boas’s life expectancy can range from 20 to 30 years in captivity. Proper care is sure to give a longer lifespan as the captively bred types are less likely to have diseases and infestations. Wild-caught species have to be tested for any diseases before using them for breeding.
How to care for this constrictor species in captivity?
Adequate caution and care are required if you are planning to have this heavy-bodied snake as a pet. It is sure a popular option in the exotic pet trade. However, it is essential to provide a proper and spacious home with the right temperature, humidity, and other conditions.
- Home – Plan to have a vertical terrarium at least 3 to 4 feet high and 3 feet square at the base. Fix a secure climbing branch that can support the weight of an adult boa.
- Keep a basking light at the top of the enclosure.
- The temperature within the enclosure should be maintained with the range of 80 to 90 degrees F. It is also better to keep a big bowl of water is such a way that it can soak itself. Change the water every day.
Handling red-tailed boas from birth are easier as you can tame them without much effort. They also tend to grow and remain calm when raised from birth.