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Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor
Photographer: Tod Baker

Latin Name Boa constrictor
Conservation Status -
Location C & S America & some Caribbean Islands
Colour Various, See Below
Length 1 - 4 m (3.5 - 13 ft)
Habit Terrestrial/Arboreal
Breeding Ovoviviparous

Main Characteristics

Boa Constrictors are large snakes that are between 1 and 4 m (3.5 - 13 ft) in length. They have a narrow head with a pointed snout and they can be coloured black, olive green, brown or grey. Each snake has distinctive markings which can be a variety of lines, ovals, circles and diamonds.

They can climb well and they are excellent swimmers.


Boa Constrictors can be found in central and South America and on some Caribbean Islands. They inhabit a range of areas from tropical forests to dry savannah and they live in hollow logs or abandoned mammal burrows.


Boa Constrictors feed on a wide variety of mammals and birds. They grab and hold onto their prey while they wrap their muscular bodies around it, squeezing until it suffocates. They then stretch their jaws around their victim and swallow it whole.


Female Boa Constrictors retain fertilized eggs inside their body while each young snake develops within their shell, being nourished by its yolk. When they are fully developed they hatch inside the female and she gives birth to between 6 and 60 live young that are between 35 and 60 cms (14 - 24 inches) in length.

Immediately after birth they young snakes are able to fend for themselves.


Predators of Boa Constrictors include humans, jaguars, and crocodiles.


Subspecies of the Boa Constrictor include:

Boa constrictor imperator
Boa constrictor constrictor
Boa constrictor occidentalis

Interesting Facts

Boa Constrictors are also known as:
Common Boa
Red-tailed Boa
Jibóia (Latin America)
Macajuel (Trinidad)

The Boa Constrictor is often kept as an exotic pet.

Boa Constrictors have a life expectancy of approximately 20 - 30 years in captivity.

The longest recorded Boa Constrictor measured 5.5 m (18 ft) long.

Similar Animals

Madagascar Ground Boa
Madagascar Tree Boa
Duméril's Boa


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