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Latin name: Epicrates cenchria
This handsome young male hatched on 8/11/21 and is about 15” in length. He’s currently eating live pinkie mice 1x every 5 days.
General info and temperament: Brazilian Rainbow Boas are considered one of the most beautiful snakes in the world, not only for their attractive patterns but also because of their vibrant rainbow iridescence. Their iridescence is especially apparent in natural sunlight.
They typically have docile temperaments as adults when handled frequently as babies. The stay light-bodied when adults, making them manageable for handling when they reach full size.
Habitat and lifestyle: Their natural range goes from Northern Central America down to Brazil and there are several subspecies within this range. Their preferred habitat is the rainforest floor though they are good climbers as well and will take to the trees to avoid floods and to search for better stake-out areas to wait for prey.
Size and lifespan: Females can grow as long as 6 feet in length with males staying smaller, typically reaching 5 feet in length. They can live up to 25 years in captivity.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: 70%-75% and up to 90% during shed cycles.
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 climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking
Handling: Brazilian Rainbow 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 pretty 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.