Boa Description, Habitat And Characteristics

14/03/2011 09:36

Boa Constrictors live in Central & South America and some islands in the Caribbean. Boa constrictor’s habitat varies widely depending of environmental conditions, from tropical rainforests to arid semi-desert country. However, it prefers to live in rainforest due to the humidity and temperature. In Costa Rica it can be seen in Corcovado National Park.

They are a large, heavy-bodied species of snake. Their color can vary greatly depending on the locality. However they are generally a brown, grey or cream base color. They are patterned with brown or reddish brown “saddles” that become more pronounced towards the tail. Their diet consists of rodents, large lizards and mammals as big as ocelots are reported to have been consumed. Boa constrictors are ambush predators, as such will lie and wait for an appropriate prey to come along. The boa will strike at the prey, grabbing it with its teeth. Then it constricts the prey until death and consumes it whole. It will take the snake approximately 4-6 days to fully digest it.

Boa constrictors are solitary animals, and will only associate to mate. They are nocturnal however they may go out during the day. They will generally breed in the dry season, between April and August. During breeding season the female boa will emit a scent to attract males, who may then wrestle for the right to breed with her. The gestation period is approximately 100-120 days. The female will then give birth to young that average 38-51 cm in length. The litter size varies but can be between 10 and 65 with an average of 25. The young are independent at birth and will grow rapidly.


Boas can reach lengths of anywhere from 1-4 meters depending on the locality and the availability of prey. Females are generally larger, in both length and girth, than males. Adults weigh approximately 60 pounds. They can leave 20 to 30 years, but there was a 40 year case.

Most populations are not under threat of immediate extinction. In some regions Boa constrictor numbers have decreased by predation from humans and other animals. Some South Americans keep boas in their houses to control rat infestations.





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