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Latin name: Boa imperator
This stunning young female is 1.5 months old.
She’s about 19” in length and currently eating live fuzzy mice 1x weekly.
Boa imperators - formerly knows as Boa constrictors, are also known as common boas, Colombian boas and Central American boas. They differ from true boa constrictors who inhabit Northeast South America and are distinct from them in size and pattern.
They are a common and popular snake to find in human care because of their naturally beautiful patterns and generally docile temperaments. They are also ideal for someone looking to adopt a snake that grows large but doesn't become too unmanageable when they reach full size. Females can grow as long as z8 feet in length with males staying smaller, typically reaching 5-6 feet in length. They can live 20-30 years as well!
Their natural range goes from southern Mexico down to northwest Colombia and there are different subspecies included in this range. This individual’s genetic lineage is that of the Nicaraguan locality.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: Wide range 60%-70%
Mist 1x-2x daily or set up an automatic mister to accomplish the same thing.
Tank size: 10-20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 50+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Standard rectangle-allow for good floor space but some climbing structures as well, particularly for younger boas who like to climb. Make sure it has a secure sliding door/doors. Sit-atop screen lids for glass tanks are not recommended for these guys, they are escape artists!
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for snakes living in glass tanks. Use a dimmable heat bulb by itself with a bulb guard for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommended for all reptiles for overall welfare.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 2"deep or deeper. Provide lots of hiding places and some low climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking
Handling: Boas can be handled a few times per week with handling sessions being not much longer than 30-45 minutes. While this is already a docile species, consistent handling will help them become even more comfortable with human interaction.
When not to handle: After the snake has eaten, give them 2-3 days to digest their food before handling them again. When you first bring the snake home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Feeding frequency: every 4-5 days for babies, 1x per week for juveniles and adults. Prey item should be as wide as the widest part of the snake's body.