Difficulty: Intermediate - Advanced
***These care sheets assume that you understand the basics of snake care & husbandry.
If you are a new snake owner, it is recommended that you read our articles on general reptile care and then fine tune the requirements for the specific species you are interested in.
Boa constrictors live in a wide range, throughout Central America and in South America north of 35S. They also populate many islands in the Caribbean (these island subspecies are generally considered to be the BCI subspecies). In the wild, they are found in a variety of terrains such as tropical rainforests, woodlands and grasslands, and have been known to opportunize the burrows of larger animals.
This species is carnivorous and feeds on rodents. Feed a rodent that is big around as the snake’s girth an average of once every 7-10 days, and monitor the snake’s weight—as your boa reaches adulthood, you may feed less frequently to avoid obesity. Adult snakes may do well eating about every 2 weeks, particularly on larger food items. Because this snake is heavy-bodied and can take larger food items, you may also want to wait 48 hours (instead of the usual 24) before handling for larger meals.
There are notable differences between the subspecies Boa constrictor constrictor (BCC) and Boa constrictor imperator (BCI). This thread discusses them in more detail. Please note that these references are not all-inclusive, and it is difficult to get an accurate gauge of which snakes breeders use before presenting babies at conventions.
In general, BCCs are larger and have more strict humidity requirements than BCIs. However, keep in mind that both of these subspecies are relatively large when full grown, and will need specialized caging when they reach their full size.