Latin name: Boa constrictor imperator (BCI)
|Size||Generally Common Boas reach between 5-9 ft, with females being typically larger than males.
It is rare for Common Boas to reach over 9ft but it has been documented that some have reached around 10-12 ft. This however is rarely seen.
|Life Span||25-30 years with proper care|
|Diet||Frozen-thawed, appropriately sized rodents warmed to room temperature|
|Feeding||Feed neonates and juveniles once a week, sub-adults every 10-14 days and adult snakes every 2-3 weeks to avoid becoming overweight.|
|Housing||Size - An adult Boa can be housed in a 4-5ft x 2ft vivarium although a bigger vivarium may be needed for the larger specimens. Neonate Boas are best kept in small tubs with secure hides as they may go off feeding if they feel insecure.
Substrate - Aspen shavings, mulch-type commercial material, unbleached paper towels, newspaper or bark.
Habitat - Provide a hiding area large enough for snake to fit inside and a branch or shelf to climb on.
Temperature - The ambient temperature should fall between 80-85° Fahrenheit with the cool end towards the lower end of this but not falling below 75° Fahrenheit. There should be a basking spot at the hot end which should fall between 90-95° Fahrenheit.
A night time drop in temperature is not required but if it does occur then the ambient temperature should not be allowed to fall below 75° Fahrenheit. To achieve these temperatures several heating devices can be used such as:-
Lighting - Snakes need a photo period light cycle; provide 8-12 hours of light daily; do not leave white light on at all times; to view snakes at night use a black or infrared light.
Water - Provide a bowl of fresh, clean, chlorine-free water large enough for the snake to soak in.
Do not house different species of reptiles together.
|Normal Behaviour & Interaction||As the snake prepares to shed, their eyes will turn a milky blue over the course of a few days and their body colour will begin to dull and develop a whitish sheen.
Snakes search their habitat when hungry, appearing alert and even restless; appetite may diminish during winter months.
Snakes will remain quiet in the hiding area or coiled up for long periods of time; they should display an alert demeanour when disturbed.
|Grooming & Hygiene||Snakes will regularly shed their skin; if old pieces of skin remain after shedding, mist the snake and gently rub off the old skin.
Because all boas are potential carriers of infectious diseases and salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your boa and/or the habitat contents to help prevent the potential of spread of diseases.
Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for a boa.
|Signs of a Healthy Animal||
|Common Health Issues||
|Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the above sources or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.|