Read About Boa Snakes

Boa snakes are beautiful and strong snakes that make good pets but are not ideal for the first-timer. Everything you need to know about them is contained in this article.

Boa snakes - Facts

  1. Description:

    Boa snakes are constrictor snakes that can grow to as much as 10 feet long or more.
  2. Varieties:

    There are many subspecies of boa snakes. Among the most common boa snake kept as a pet is the red tailed boa.
  3. History:

    While the exact origins of boa snakes are not known, it is likely they originated in the Lesser Antilles, and may have been transported among the islands by accident.
  4. Physical Traits:

    Boa snakes have heads that are very distinct from their necks. Their bodies tend to be fairly pale in color, with a pattern of dark bars running the length of their backs and dark blotches with pale centers on their sides. Many boa snakes have red patterns on their tails.
  5. Other Defining Characteristics:

    In captivity, most adult boa snakes average around 4-8 feet in length, although some have been known to grow to 10 feet or more.
  6. Habitat:

Boa snakes - Concerns

  1. Benefits:

    Although they are not ideal as a first snake for someone interested in a snake, boas are usually fairly docile snakes.
  2. Liabilities:

    Boa snakes are extremely strong and care should be taken when handling them. If the snake is over 5 feet long, you should have help when handling it.
  3. Health Issues:

    Boa snakes can suffer from inclusion, a virus that can be fatal. Signs of this infection include paralysis, chronic regurgitation, respiratory difficulties, and the inability to constrict. There is no cure for this virus, so it is recommended that you quarantine a new boa snake for a minimum of 3-6 months.
  4. Specific Care Needs:

    Make sure you have a very large and very secure cage to hold your boa snake. As they grow to be rather large, adult boa snakes need considerable space.
  5. Reaction to Children and other Pets:

    Never leave a boa snake unsupervised around children or other pets. Boa snakes are predators by nature and are extremely strong animals.
  6. Special Household Needs:

    Be sure the habitat for your boa snake is completely secure, so that the snake cannot escape and children cannot remove the snake without proper supervision.

Boa snakes - How to Choose

  1. What to Look for:

    Look for a boa snake that is clear-eyed and alert. The snake should have a firm body, with a clean vent and healthy-looking scales; his tongue should flick readily.
  2. Supplies:

    Boa snakes require a large tank with sufficient space for the size f the snake. At a minimum, an adult boa snake should have a cage that is about 10 square feet in area and at least 2-3 feet high. You will need a heat source to keep the cage at around 82-90 degrees during the day, and about 78-85 degrees at night. Your boa snake will also need a basking spot with temperatures around 90-95 degrees. You should provide a few places in the cage for your boa snake to hide, such as hollow logs or specially designed snake hides. Clean water is essential, and your boa snake will need to be fed live or pre-killed prey.
  3. Expense:

    Because such a large enclosure is needed, the cost of setting up a boa snake habitat can be high. The snake itself will likely cost at least $75 to $100.