This Amazon gravid Amazon Tree Boa (C. hortulanus) has been progressing nicely. This female last shed November 11th 2015, and at that time I didn’t have the opportunity to see her ovulate so I gradually started increasing her temperatures in the following weeks.
I’ve been pairing this female up with my Red Calico looking male, with the hopes of producing more Calico looking beauties this summer. This was the first year for the male so he wasn’t the most aggressive breeder.
It’s been several years since I’ve produced Amazons, and this female is a proven breeder, so here’s hoping for a healthy litter. Litter sizes can range from 6-10 on average. Neonates typically start feeding on live fuzzy mice. Occasionally, neonates prefer geckos or frogs as their first prey items (as reported by other keepers). Fortunately I find that if the neonates are setup properly they feed readily. All that’s needed is adequate perching and cover so they feel secure; they’ll typically strike at anything and feed.
As an illustration I’ve posted an update on the 2015 Silver-back Bolivian Boas. Included are new pictures showing their development thus far. The contrast of the silver background and thin dark saddles is very nice, though hard to capture in photo’s.
Considering these Bolivian Short-tailed boas are getting lighter with every shed, I would expect these Bolivians will continue to demonstrate lighter background in each subsequent shed. Probably a few she cycles in and we’ll get a good idea of how each animal will look.
This pair of Northern Emeralds are busy as bees, and its already the beginning of March.
Because this pairing had a bit of a slow start, I’ll have to be patient. Firstly it took several introductions of the male to the females cage to have the female accept the male. Upon first introductions, the female immediately defecated, therefore rejecting the male. Also, after several more introductions several days in between, the female would make every effort to ignore the males advances.
The gap between introductions affords me the opportunity to feed the animals. During breeding trials I generally reduce the amount of feed. Feeding intervals are stretched further apart, and I offer smaller meals. This male generally goes off feed early in the winter season. The female however has continued to feed so far this season.
In the following weeks I’ll be giving the animals a few days or more in between introductions, reading their body language and waiting for them to tell me when they’ve accepted one another. I have no doubt the male is up for the task, time will tell l when the females decides she’s ready as too.
When I come home from work each evening, I take a few minutes to check over the animals, spot cleaning and make observations. Over the last week or so while viewing the emerald tree boas that have been paired this season. I’ve noticed the female perching different than usual, demonstrating some interesting body language.
The female’s been loosely perched, and looks somewhat distended in the lower third. Something makes me wonder if she’s building up for ovulation, or maybe she’s trying to psyche me out. It’s hard to tell sometimes with these animals.
What makes this tricky sometimes is the way emeralds perch; especially with larger animals on a small perch. Unlike other arboreal boas I’ve worked with such as Amazons, emeralds will partly expand their bodies when trying to coil tightly on a perch. It’s easier to see this effect on larger boas as they coil on a small perch, expanding their bodies around the perch. I’ll try to add a picture at a later date.
Anyways. I just thought I would share today’s findings.
For those of you that are the type to enjoy reading research papers, I’ve come across a new Robert W. Henderson’s new Corallus Publication for your consumption.
Robert W. Henderson added a new publication this month titled “Glimpses of social behavior in Grenada Bank Tree boas (Corallus grenadensis)”. This paper describes observations at a site in Central Granada. Specifically, the paper describes the social behavior among several Grenada Tree Boas over the course of June 2015.
I found the paper to be an interesting read, since we rarely get to observe social behaviors of snakes in the wild. This matters to me because in captivity, animals are generally kept in much smaller enclosures under a managed environment. This restricts the “normal” behavior of the animal because of the environmental limitations we place on them. Understanding how boa’s interest in the wild helps in better managing how we may manage them in captivity.
For Amazon Tree Boa pairings this year we’ll have two pairs of Amazon Tree Boas. The goal here is to refine two of our lineages.
I have a unique looking red male that has a “granite calico” look to him that I would like to reproduce. I picked up this animal and his last year. For the 2016 season I’ve paired him with his mother with the hope of producing offspring with a similar color and pattern.
The second pairing will include a mottled yellow/orange sire and mottled yellow/brown dam. I had attempted to breed this pair last year however they were unsuccessful. This female is quite large (800 g) and has a tendency intimidate the male. This results in failed copulation attempts. The male is much smaller by comparison (430 g) and has a nice mottled yellow color. I’ll be backing up this pairing with another red male (sire to the calico-granite) should the yellow male not work out.
With a little luck, I hope to have some Amazons available end of summer 2016.
Emerald Tree Boas breeding: I’ve started pairing the Emerald Tree boas (Corallus caninus) for the season; last week I introduced the male to the female’s enclosure at the end of the day, and by mid-evening the pair had started courtship. This is the first time I’ve paired these two animals, so I’m interested in seeing if the emeralds are as aggressive breeders as the Amazons are.
In the past I’ve produced Amazons and they were fairly aggressive breeders. Meaning, males would constantly be pursuing females around the cage
This Calico Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) was produced by a fellow Canadian in 2013. Especially relevant is the calico pattern which I find attractive. Furthermore his primary color is red, peppered white and black scales. In addition, he has a primarily white belly, makes him very attractive.
I also decided to purchase the sire and dame that produced this Calico Amazon Tree Boa. Comparatively, the sire is a red/orange animal with light black peppering throughout his body. The dame however is what’s often called “Garden” phase. Overall, the dame is grayish in color, with dark background pattern, which form geometric patterns.
Finally, in my opinion Amazons are the most under rated tree boas. As a matter of fact, Amazons are very hardy and easy to care for. However, Amazons have a reputation for being aggressive and will readily bite keepers. Therefore many inexperienced people will shy away from them.
Silver-back Bolivian Boas are here! Our pair of Silver-back Bolivian Boas produced a litter back in September 2015. This was the first time producing Bolivians here, and it was really exciting to so this project come to fruition.
Since the early 90’s when Bolivian Boas were all the rage I’ve been wanting to work with these annals. Back then, Bolivians were not very common in Canada, and at the time I had other projects that occupied most of my time.
This pair had been breeding since early December (2014) and the female had me baffled. At first I thought she had ovulated and everything was coming along well. She ovulated, turned dark on me and shed a few weeks later. However, after she shed she regained her lighter background color and was feeding as normal.
In the past most of my gravid Boas (Boa imperator) have continued to feed while gravid, but they will thermoregulate and change in demeanor. However, this female in particular acted as she would throughout the year, and didn’t show the lateral body swelling/thinning of the dorsum as one would expect.
In the end, the birthing took place day 114 after post-shed where she produced 9 viable and 19 infertile. I believe it was the large number of infertile ovum that led to me questioning her gravid state.
Darren Hamill Reptiles has been working with and specializing in captive bred reptile’s animals since the early 90’s. Although I’ve been known in the past for pythons, and monitors, boas are my specialty.
Over the past 20 years I’ve have specialized in B. c. imperator localities and Corallus species. The variation in color of the Central Imperator was such an awesome experience for me. I couldn’t get over the degree of size, color and pattern of the locality boas. Among my favorite boas at the time were nearly solid black type II anerythristic boas. The iridescence of this black boa was far more interesting than anything else on the market at that time. The locality boas were and still are among the most beautiful animals to work with.
The Corallus group, or “Tree Boas” are even more variable, especially in the Corallus subspecies. Amazons for instance are among the most polymorphic of the tree boas, ranging in color form reds and oranges to brown and grey. Amazons (C. hortulanus) can have litters of baby boas that are in complete color contrast to their parents. They can appear uniquely different in color and pattern from their parents, often darkening or lightening in color as they age. How can a hobbyist not fall in love with these unique boas!
Today the collection consists of various forms of boas such as Central American, Nicaraguan (B. c. imperator) including some generic variants and South Brazilian Bolivian Boas (B. c. amarali), often referred to as “Silver-back Bolivian Boas”.