True Red Tail Boas

Synonym
  • Boa constrictor constrictor (LINNAEUS, 1758)
Natural Distribution
  • Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela
Approximate Size
  • Females 2-2.5 meters (6-8 ft.)
  • Males 1.5-2.0 meters (5-6 ft.)
Conservation status
  • CITES Appendix II2
Description

“True” Red Tailed Boas are they are often most sought after because of their beautifully colored red tails, unique dorsal saddles and often pink or purple coloration along the sides of their bodies. Boa c. constrictor are the nominate species of the complex, meaning they were the first of the species type to be described by LINNAEUS in 1758.

Characteristics

True red tail boas vary greatly in appearance depending on their locality. Although hobbyists often will seek out specific traits in locality types such as Suriname’s with large “widow” peaks, or Guyanese boas with pick sides, the reality is that each locality is highly variable in color and pattern. This may also be contributed to the fact that several of the locality Boa c. constrictors localities overlap, and therefore natural mixing occurs. Finally, wild caught animals are collected from several localities, and exported with no reliable means of  tracking where they were collected.

Husbandry compared to the smaller Boa c. imperator, although true red tail boas tend to be less tolerant of frequent handling. They also require higher humidity and warmer summer temperatures than the smaller Boa c. imperator.

Furthermore, breeding Boa c. constrictor is also a greater challenge than other Boa c. spp., requiring cooler nigh time lows (66-68F), dryer days, and often longer cooling periods to coax them into breeding.

Unfortunately,  there are still many thousands of wild caught or farmed boas imported each year. As a result, imported animals tend to fare poorly in comparison to captive bred individuals, stressing more easily and plagued with both internal and external parasites. However, with captive breeding so common, as a result its very easy to find well established captive bred offspring.

Update: Suriname boas gave birth September 11th. Check it out here!.

Suriname Type Locality

References
  1. Boa constrictor LINNAEUS, 1758 – The Reptile Database (Accessed Online, 2017)
  2. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – Appendices I, II and III (Accessed Online, 2017)

Captive-bred Reptile Excellence