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Swell Reptiles > Reptile Care Sheets > Boa Constrictors

Boa Constrictor | Care Sheet

Overview

Boa Constrictor Scientific Name: Boa Constrictor
Common Name: Boa Constrictor, Common Boa
Average Lifespan: 20-30+ Years
Adult Size: 8-12 foot
Origin: Mexico, South America

Description:

Generally boas exhibit saddle like patterns running the length of the body to a red tail. Coloration can vary from grays to browns with younger snakes being lighter in color than adults.

Boa constrictors can become very large and very strong. They are not a recommended snake for beginners.

Housing:

Hatchlings can be housed in a 20-gallon vivarium, but they will soon out grow this enclosure. Usually only custom-built vivarium's are the only suitable enclosures for adult specimens. The vivarium should at a minimum be 8 x 2 x 4 foot (LxWxH). When constructing your vivarium it is important to not use unfinished wood since these are difficult to clean and can harbor disease. We recommend using glass when constructing your snakes enclosure

Make sure there is plenty of areas for your snake to hide during the day by providing rocks, logs, and plants would be perfect.

Lighting:

No special lighting is necessary. However, we recommend a 12-hour on 12-hour off system with a standard bulb, try not to use bulbs with a greater wattage than 100W as this could damage your snake.

Heating:

Basking Spot Temperature: Basking spot of around 35C
Daytime Temperature: The ambient temperature of 26.5C - 29C - With a cool area of around 24C
Night Temperature: Around 24.4C (Make sure this doesn't drop below 22.6C)

Substrate:

Newspaper, Kitchen Roll, Aspen Bedding and Cypress Bedding would be fine for your boa. Try to avoid using Sand, soil, corncob, cedar shavings as these are not recommended.

Food:

Boa constrictors should be fed frozen and thawed mice (or large rats for adult boas). Hatchlings should be started out on pinkie mice for feedings and the size of the prey should be increased as the snake grows. Young growing snakes should be fed a couple of times a week to encourage growth, while adults only need to be fed three appropriately sized rat every 2-3 weeks.

If your snake is due to shed there's a chance that their appetite will decline, don't worry about this as its natural for their appetite to decline around the time of a shed.

Water:

The Water should be kept clean and changed daily. Snakes often defecate in their water, in which case it should be immediately cleaned. A heavy dish several inches in diameter like the Exo Terra Water Dish Large will provide a perfect water source. The reason we recommend a large water dish is because your snake might soak in the dish, before a shed to help with the process.

Maintenance:

Your snakes vivarium should be spot checked for feces daily. If you conscientiously spot clean, wood based substrates can be replaced every 2 to 3 weeks. Water bowls should be cleaned and disinfected at least weekly and any uneaten dead food should be removed after 2 - 3 hours.

It is always recommended to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the snake or cleaning the vivarium and vivarium accessories.

Shopping List:

Heating:


Housing:


Substrate:


Maintenance:


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