Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor in tropical forest of Costa Rica

Common name: Boa constrictor

Type: Snake

Family: Boidae

Range: The range of boa constrictor would be varied depending on the subspecies. You can find them from northern Mexico through Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize, EI Salvador and Panama of Central America to South America north of 35 degree S. It is also available in the range of Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, Guyana, Trinidad, Belize, Venezuela, Tobago, French Guiana and Suriname. They are also available in many Islands along the coasts of Central America, Mexico and South America.

Size: Size and weight of this snake would probably be varied depending on the locality, species and the availability of suitable prey. When you consider about this species, the length and girth of females would be more than males. The length of females would be between 7 to 10 feet and in the case of male it would be between 6 to 8 feet. The length could be exceeded up to 10 feet for females and at the time of captivity, the length can be increased as 12 feet or 14 feet. It is also identified that, the length can go up to 18.5 feet in some species.
Since this snake is heavy-bodied one, the large species of this type can weigh up to 27kg. Females can be weighed up to 10 to 15kg. In most usual case, some of the specimens would exceed the weight as 45kg.

Diet: Prey of boa constrictor would be included the variety of small and medium sized birds and mammals. Their diet also consists of lizards, rodents and other big ocelots those can be consumed. The size of prey may be varied depending on the older and larger snake. The young boa constrictors prefer to eat small bats, mice, lizards, birds and even amphibians. They normally eat chickens, chicks, mice, rabbits and rats depending on the age and size at the time of captivity.

Average lifespan: The average lifespan of this boa constrictor would be 20 to 30 years and also 40 years in some rare cases would make it as a pet in long-term commitment.

Habitat: When you consider about the flourishes of the boa constrictor, it would probably manage in a wide variety of environmental conditions in a reliable way. They can be able to live from the tropical rainforests to the country that is semi-deserted one. Because of the humidity, the amount of potential prey and temperature, most of the time it prefers to live in the rainforests compared to other places. Since it is capable of swimming easily, you can see it commonly around the places of rivers and streams. In order to hide from the potential predators, they prefer to occupy the burrows that have built by the medium-sized mammals.

Breeding/Reproduction: When you go through the breeding of these snakes, they normally prefer to breed in the dry season between April and August. They are usually ovoviviparous and polygynous one in order to give birth to the live young. Because of this reason, males would probably mate with multiple females at the breeding season. In order to attract males, the female boa constrictor would probably emit a scent from her cloaca and the male senses with that smell and make sure about his right to breed with her.

At the time of breeding, the tail of the male would be curled around the female in order to insert the reproductive organ of male into it. The copulation of boa constrictor would be lost for a few minutes to several hours and in some cases they prefer to go for the copulation several times over a period of few weeks. The ovulation occurs in female after one year period and the gestation period is normally 100 to 120 days after the post ovulation.

The female would probably give birth to 10 to 65 young at the time after the gestation period. Normally the size of young would be 15 to 20 inches and even 25 inches. The sexual maturity of the young would be achieved between 3 to 4 years with a size of 6 to 10 ft. The main thing about boa constrictor is, since it is polygynous one most of the time males would be unsuccessful.

When you consider about the color of the boa constrictor, it may be varied one depending on the locality where it is lived. They are generally in the color of cream base, brown or sometime gray along with the tail as patterned with reddish brown or brown saddles. Compared to other subspecies, this snake has the red saddles in large amount and hence it is typically known by the common name of red-tailed boa. The coloring would probably act as the mask for it in jungle and other natural forests range.

These boa constrictors normally live on own and they don’t prefer to live with other snakes until they want a mate for breeding or any other purpose. Since they are night-time snakes, they prefer to get relaxed during the daytime and go for hunting at night when the temperature is very low. The young ones would probably climb into trees and shrubs for getting out the forage in an efficient way. But, they become as terrestrial one in the case of older and heavier.

In Costa Rica rain forest woodland and tropical areas, you can find Boa constrictor.They can found in Braulio Carrillo National Park, Chirripo National Park, Juan Castro Bianco National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forrest Reserve, Poas Volcano National Park and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

They don’t disturb anyone in normal case and they bite, when it gets defensed and strike during threatened by someone. Even though this snake bite is a painful one, it is rarely dangerous one compared to other large snakes. It would be better to go with proper care, in order to get rid of any injury.

Since boa constrictor are ambush predators, they normally wait for the right time to get the appropriate prey and get them through the attack. They usually prefer to hunt in the places, where the concentration of suitable prey is less that too particularly at night time. When it attacks the prey, it normally grabs it with teeth and proceeds to constrict the prey until it dies and it will eat the prey only after the death for consuming it whole. The prey will move into the stomach with the help of its throat. The food digestion would take approximately 4 to 6 days depending on the size of prey and local temperature. After this, because of the slow metabolism it is possible for the snake to eat food for a week to several months.

When you consider about boa constrictor, the snakes available in the regions of Costa Rica would probably be treated as the irascible one and they are hissing loudly and strikingly repeatedly in the case of any disturbance.

Proper husbandry of this animal would probably make the captive lifespan as good and efficient one along with the correct temperature, suitable food items, adequate space and humidity. These conditions are maintained in most of the zoos to take care of the boa constrictor in a better way.

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