Amazon tree boa, Corallus hortulana

Amazon tree boas are stunning to look at and rewarding pets to keep

At a glance...
  • Amazon tree boas are a stunning, medium-sized arboreal snake
  • Great for more experienced keepers looking for a challenge
  • A range of colour and pattern variations available in the hobby
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Do Amazon tree boas make good pets?

As the name suggests, Amazon tree boas are stunning arboreal snakes native to the South American rainforests. They are a medium-sized, slender-bodied snake and tend to have a very enthusiastic feeding response, which can make them a little snappy when going into their enclosure. They can be tamed, but this can pose a challenge, it is, for this reason, that we recommend this species for more experienced keepers.

At Swell Reptiles, all our Amazon tree boas are captive bred in the UK, meaning the taming process has generally already started as the snake is not completely wild, and you can be safe in the knowledge that your new snake is not carrying any parasites or disease from their wild environment.

What size enclosure does an Amazon tree boa need?

As they are decent sized snakes and live arboreally, Amazon tree boas should be kept in enclosures that are vertically oriented and provide them with plenty of space. We recommend a minimum enclosure size of 90 x 45 x 90cm (36 x 18 x 36”), but if you have the space to go bigger, this will certainly be beneficial to your snake.

A few good example enclosures would be most large glass terrariums, or the VivExotic Viva+ Arboreal Vivarium Large Deep which measures 115 x 61 x 91.5cm (4 x 2 x 3ft). If you opt for a wooden vivarium, it is important to use vivarium sealant around the inside joins, as Amazon tree boas have high humidity requirements and this can cause damage to the wood panels if moisture is allowed to seep in.

Do Amazon tree boas need to be heated?

As with all reptiles, Amazon tree boas are ectothermic and cannot control their internal body temperature without the help of external sources. They should, therefore, be provided with a thermogradient within their enclosure, giving them both a warm basking area of around 30°C (86°F) and a cooler area between 22-25°C (71-77°F) that will be nearer the floor for arboreal species.

This should be achieved using an overhead heating system and not a heat mat, as your gradient should be warmer overhead and cooler down below, plus, heat mats do not work well to heat such large enclosures. The best option is either a basking lamp and dimming thermostat, or a ceramic heater and pulse thermostat.

Do Amazon tree boas need UVB?

Research has shown that Amazon tree boas can benefit significantly from the presence of a low-level UVB light, within the UVI range of 1-2, closely replicating the UVI found in their natural environments. This can be achieved using an Arcadia ShadeDweller Max.

placed 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking area, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% placed 40-45cm (15-18”) above the basking zone.

How do I decorate an Amazon tree boa’s vivarium?

The first thing to consider when decorating your Amazon tree boas enclosure is whether you would like to go bioactive with live plants, or stick to artificial plants. If you wish to go bioactive, you will need a drainage layer of Hydro Rocks and Hydro Matting before adding a planting substrate such as Arcadia EarthMix, whereas if you do not want live plants, no drainage layer and a deep layer of a moisture-retaining substrate such as coco soil will suffice.

Once you have the foundations in, you should consider adding lots of robust branches for your Amazon tree boa to climb and perch on, ensuring they are secure enough to hold the weight of your snake. Foliage can then be used to provide covered areas along the branches, to give your snake arboreal hiding places where they can feel secure.

What do Amazon tree boas eat?

Amazon tree boas are carnivorous and should be fed a diet made up of reptile frozen food. Mice and rats make the best staple options, but once your snake is large enough, other options such as chicks can be provided to add more variety to their diet as they would have in nature.

How do I buy an Amazon tree boa?

All of our livestock is for in-store collection only, so if you would like to purchase one of our UK captive-bred Amazon tree boas, then please come in and see us.

We will ask a few quick questions and also to see some images of a suitable set-up, completely ready for the snake to go into. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please refer to our dedicated Amazon Tree Boa Care Sheet.

Common names Amazon tree boa
Scientific name Corallus hortulana
Country South America
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 150-180cm (5-6ft)
Natural habitat Rainforest habitats
Housing 90 x 45 x 90cm (36 x 18 x 36”)
Ideal temperature 30°C (86°F) (warm end); 22-25°C (71-77°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 60-80%
Diet Carnivorous
Average lifespan 20-25 years
Personality Often snappy, taming can pose a challenge
Ease of handling Moderate-difficult
Cohabitable No
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Help Guides
  1. Amazon tree boa, Corallus hortulana, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsSnakes

    Amazon tree boa, Corallus hortulana, care sheet

    Amazon tree boa, Corallus hortulana, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.